Supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council

Author: Mel Evans (Page 4 of 9)

A is for Aphra: the Behn Statue Campaign

Elaine Hobby is working with the Canterbury Commemoration Society to fund and commission a bronze statue of Behn to take pride of place in Canterbury, Behn’s likely place of birth. The Society, via the campaign ‘A is for Aphra‘, are presently inviting artists to submit designs for consideration, with the shortlisting process anticipated to take place in 2022.

Aerial view of Canterbury

As a public campaign, this will only be made possible with the generous support of those in Canterbury – many of whom are as yet unaware of Behn’s significance for their city – and those further afield. The Society explain:

‘We think Aphra Behn deserves to be remembered. That’s why we are launching a fundraising campaign for a statue of her in Canterbury, the city she grew up in. We want Aphra Behn to take her place alongside Marlowe and Chaucer as one of the literary giants celebrated not only by this fantastic city, but also by those far beyond it’

If you are interested in learning more about this campaign, and supporting the creation of a Behn statue, please visit A is for Aphra to learn more.

The 2021 Josephine Roberts Award for a Scholarly Edition (SSEMWG)

Logo for SSEMWG

The general editors and project team are delighted to learn that The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Aphra Behn: Plays 1682-1696 has been awarded the 2021 Josephine Roberts Award for a Scholarly Edition by the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women and Gender (SSEMWG) 

The first volume of eight volumes to be published, it contains the final five plays that Behn wrote. The award reflects the effort and care of the seven editors involved in preparing those texts for a new readership: Rachel Adcock, Kate Aughterson, Claire Bowditch, Elaine Hobby, Alan James Hogarth, Anita Pacheco, and Margarete Rubik.  

The awarding committee praised the volume for providing ‘a welcome focus on [Behn] as a woman and a writer in a specific historical context, and will be useful for both specialists and anyone interested in learning or teaching about women and gender in the early modern world’. 

We’re very grateful to the society for their recognition, and their support for our goal of making Behn’s works increasingly accessible to a wider, diverse readership. 

What’s next for the Behn Project?

In March 2020, the first volume of the Cambridge Edition of the Works of Aphra Behn was published. To celebrate the completion of Volume 4: Plays 1682-96, the project team and editors held an online launch, and whilst we weren’t able to share stories, beverages and biscuits in person, it was great to see so many faces from around the world.

But Behn wrote far more than the (excellent) six plays included in this first-to-appear volume. Questions of attribution, collation, print history, biography and literary import preside over the remaining seven volumes of the edition. The next volume to appear will be Volume 2 Plays 1676-78, containing new editions of The Town-Fopp, The Rover, Sir Patient Fancy, The Counterfeit Bridegroom and The Debauchee, edited by Elaine Hobby, Claire Bowditch and Jennie Challinor.

Fancy a closer look at this work in progress? See the video below for a short trailer (created by Claire Bowditch):

Work continues apace on this volume, as well as the other six volumes, and we are excited to see what discoveries and insights the next stages of the project will bring.

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