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Of privileges and masculine parts: the learned lady in Aphra Behn's Sir Patient Fancy.

In his "Preface of the Author" in The Six Days Adventure, or The New Utopia (1671), Edward Howard observes that there are "not seldome to be found as great abilities in them [women] (allowing for the disadvantage they have in not being suitably educated to letters,) as are to be observ'd in men of greatest comprehensions" (4). Aphra Behn takes a similar line in her preface to The Dutch Lover (1673): "[W]aving the examination, why women having equal education with men, were not as capable of knowledge, of whatever sort as well as they: I'l only say as I have touch'd before, that Plays have no great room for that which is mens great advantage over women, that is Learning." (1)

The educated woman or "learned lady" became the subject of much debate--and satire--in the Restoration. Women such as Margaret Cavendish, the Duchess of Newcastle, Bathsua Makin, Anna Maria van Schurmann, Judith Drake, and Mary Astell argued decidedly for the education of women. Custom has it, Makin writes to Mary, the eldest daughter of James, Duke of York, that the education of a woman is "lookt upon as a monstrous thing"(1). While men largely resisted the notion of educating females, early female advocates for the improvement of women's minds found, unfortunately, that sometimes women themselves offered as much opposition, particularly when these "educated" or "learned ladies" offered their knowledge in the public forum of print. Dorothy Osborne, for example, wrote to Sir William Temple, after having read Margaret Cavendish's Philosophical Fancies (1653), that "there were many soberer People in Bedlam." (2) Mary Evelyn, John Evelyn's wife, censures learned women, remarking that women should "acknowledge all time borrowed from family duties misspent [...]. The distaffe will defend our quarrels as well as the sword, and the needle is as instructive as the penne" (qtd. in Reynolds 142).

In her play, Sir Patient Fancy: A Comedy (1678), Aphra Behn depicts a learned lady whom the main male character, Sir Patient Fancy, finds impertinent and intolerable and to whom he refers to as "Madam Romance, that walking Library of Profane Books" (2.1.179-81). Several scholars have argued that Behn's intention in this play is to mock the learned lady. (3) Through her imaginative and humorous construction of the Lady Knowell, however, Behn does not deride the learned lady; rather, she mocks men's pretentiousness and offers her audience an opportunity to consider the concept of knowledge unrestricted by gender.

Throughout her work, Behn continuously rejects the idea that intellectual capacity and gender are interdependent and frequently questions why beauty and wit should be mutually exclusive. For example, she notes playfully in the prologue to her first produced play, The Forc'd Marriage, or, The Jealous Bridegroom (1671), "Who is't that to their [women's] Beauty wou'd submit, / And yet refuse the Fetters of their Wit" (45-46).

Behn sets the tone for Sir Patient Fancy in the prologue in which she notes, "Our Author / Knows better how to juggle than to write" (30-31), lightheartedly deriding herself as a woman of wit. The main female character in the play, Lady Knowell, is just such a woman of wit, and the first act opens with this learned lady's daughter, Lucretia, complaining to her friend Isabella about her mother's intellectual endeavors, which she describes as "the peculiar Province of the other Sex" (1.1.57-58). But Isabella presents an opposing view, suggesting that "Indeed the men wou'd have us think so, and boast their Learning, and Languages," but, she continues, their sex is full of words that are to little purpose (1.1.59-62). Isabella reiterates the argument from Behn's preface in The Dutch Lover, in which the playwright maintains that while she as a female writer may lack sufficient "words" owing to her lack of an education in classical languages, what words the learned men do use often "mean just nothing" (5:160).

Lady Knowell complains about contemporary women, including her daughter, who she claims are "unthinking creatures" since they "have no other knowledge than that of dressing" (1.1.105-06). Lady Knowell's complaint was addressed by other feminists in the seventeenth century. Van Schurman, for example, contends that "whoever is in greatest danger of vanity," by which she means women, needs "a solid and constant occupation," which she views as the study of letters (28). The great end of education, Astell argues, is that it will "furnish our minds with a stock of solid and useful Knowledge, that the Souls of Women may no longer be the only unadorn'd and neglected things" (77).

Sir Patient Fancy is based for the most part on two of Moliere's plays, Le Malade Imaginaire and Les Femmes Savantes, but the plot of the learned lady is principally from the latter. Moliere makes his learned lady, Philaminte, plainly ridiculous; for example, she fires a servant for using incorrect grammar and "killing a sensitive ear" (2.6.143-147). Her browbeaten husband, Chrysale, claims his wife has taught her servants Latin and to aspire to the sciences, which means that they "know the motions of the moon and the polar star, of Venus, of Saturn, and of Mars," but they are so involved in study that they burn his roast while reading history (2.8.150). In short, Chrysale concludes, "everything is known in my home, except what ought to be known" (2.8.150). While Moliere presents the majority of the women in this play as learned, they are also outrageously absurd. The only female character not pejoratively constructed is Henrietta, who is determined to marry and have a family.

While Moliere presents his learned ladies in Les Femmes Savantes through extravagant ridicule, Behn does not. Behn's play has only one learned lady, who does indeed utilize preposterous language throughout the play, yet she is not the outrageous caricature that Moliere scripts Philaminte. Philaminte is so enamored of the fop poet Trissotin that she is willing to force her domestically inclined daughter into marriage with him. On the other hand, while Lady Knowell in Behn's Sir Patient Fancy views her daughter Lucretia's idling as "an insupportable loss of time" (1.1.80), she does not force her to engage in philosophy, nor does she in actuality design the fop/poet want-to-be Sir Credulous Easy for her daughter's husband.

Sir Credulous, an educated "Devonshire knight," has been recommended to Lady Knowell as a husband for Lucretia. The match was apparently formed by her brother or brother-in-law when her son, Lodowick, went to the country the previous summer to visit his uncle. Lady Knowell dutifully entertains Sir Credulous upon his arrival in London, but there is no point in the play where she actively engages in procuring any "writings" for the marriage. In spite of the fact that Lady Knowell introduces Sir Credulous as her son in Futuro (2.1.265), she engages with the others in laughter at him and calls his salutation to the wrong Lady Fancy "absurd" (2.1.303).

Although some scholarship has suggested that Lady Knowell, who appears infatuated with Leander, intends to keep her daughter's lover for herself, this idea is refuted very early in the play. Edward Burns, for example, claims that Lady Knowell uses her intellectual attainments to seduce young men, but this is certainly a misreading, for she clearly has as little intention in marrying her daughter to the fop knight as she does in marrying Leander, Sir Patient's nephew, herself (143). (4) Janet Todd has already argued that, as a middle-aged woman, Behn would surely have been sensitive about highlighting an older woman's desire for such a young man (Todd 227). Thus, as early as the second act, Sir Patient reveals that Lady Knowell has refused a match between his nephew Leander and herself. In revenge, Sir Patient intends to prevent Lady Knowell's son, Lodowick, from marrying his daughter, Isabella (2.1.155-58).

Lady Knowell teases Leander unmercifully and appears to enjoy doing so even though she taunts her daughter in the process. For example, she is well aware of the fact that Lucretia is in love with Leander. Nevertheless, she encourages Leander to "raise your soul above that little trifle Lucretia" (3.2.1). When he professes to have "a Thousand hidden faults" and to be a debauched man, she questions him as if affronted, "Yet you would have my daughter take you with all these values;" she concludes this same response, however--and quickly turns the tables--with the rejoinder, "I can endure a man as wild and as inconstant as she can" (3.2.11-14).

When later in the play Leander tells Sir Patient he intends to wed Lucretia, Sir Patient is furious since he had tried to marry his nephew to the mother because "foppery with Money had been something" (5.1.94). Lady Knowell overhears the conversation and "agrees" to take Leander for herself. Leander, however, immediately begins to back pedal, reminding her that he is "that wild Extravagant my Uncle render'd me, and cannot live confined" (5.1.154-55). But Lady Knowell, who is not about to give up the ruse so easily, remarks, "To one Woman you mean? I shall not stand with you for a Mistress or two, I hate a dull, morose unfashionable Blockhead to my Husband, nor shall I be the first example of a suffering Wife Sir; Women were created poor obedient things" (5.1.156-159).

With her knowledge of logic and rhetoric, Lady Knowell proves no match for Leander, who cannot wriggle out of the argument. Even Sir Patient Fancy finds her a difficult match in repartee, for, he claims, "I shall go near to out-trick your Ladyship for all your Politik Learning" (2.1.419-20). Nevertheless, as soon as the "match" seems made, Sir Patient leaves abruptly to obtain the writings, but at this point in the play, Lady Knowell hands Leander over to Lucretia, saying, "I still design'd him yours.--I saw with pleasure Sir, your reclination from my addresses,--I have proved both your passions" (5.1.178-79).

While some scholars may take Christopher Wheatley's point of view, a view also entertained by Derek Hughes, that Behn satirizes Lady Knowell through the gap between her language and her achievements, this may be but the overt and obvious that the playwright presents for her audience (381; Hughes, English Drama 213-14). Indeed, rather than viewing Behn as mocking the learned lady, we might view the learned lady in Sir Patient Fancy as mocking male attitudes toward women's education. For example, when Lady Knowell claims that reading Virgil, Homer, and Tasso in their original language elevates her emotions, Behn intentionally (and perhaps with tongue-in-check amusement) points out the learned lady's transgression of the masculine sphere, but this transgression is one demonstrating that the supposedly "soft constitution" of a woman does not hinder the learning of languages.

Bathsua Makin observes that, given that women's natures are soft, "they are more capable of good Impressions" and will, therefore, take well to education (34). She concludes that education would make women more virtuous. "We cannot expect otherwise to prevail against the Ignorance, Atheism, Prophaneness, Superstition, Idolatry, [and] Lust, that reigns in the Nation, than by a Prudent, Sober, Pious, [and] Vertuous Education of our Daughters" (28). Besides, she continues, such educated young women would serve as examples to the young men and stir them to emulation.

Lady Knowell may appear the silly learned woman men maintained such women of wit were, and this characterization is one that no doubt satisfied her male audience, but given Behn's consistent argument for women's education, it is hardly one that she could have taken seriously herself. Thus, when Lady Knowell declaims against translation in filthy English, she mocks university-educated men who contemned the baseness of the English language (1.1.82-97) (5) and no doubt voices simultaneously her own frustration at having to read the classics in translation. Lady Knowell despises "law French" and insists that a basket supposedly containing books in English and French be removed. "Oh faugh, how I hate that vile sort of reading!" (4.1.297). But then, as Judith Drake observes, "We [women] are taught only our Mother Tongue, or perhaps French [...] whereas the other Sex by means of a more extensive Education to the knowledge of the Roman and Greek Languages, have a vaster Field for their Imaginations to rove in and their Capacities thereby enlarg'd" (255). Lady Knowell's refusal to peruse the books is surely tongue-in-cheek humor advanced by the playwright.

Derek Hughes argues that through Lady Knowell's ludicrous language Behn may discredit "linguistic expertise as an entitlement to male power" but that she also discredits it "as a means of female empowerment" ("Silent in Th'inchanting Circle" 193). This may be a misreading, however, or perhaps a misunderstanding of Behn's play, for Lady Knowell does not surrender empowerment; rather, she parodies it to complain against the "custom of the nation" that allows for the education of men only. That Lady Knowell mocks the male characters in this play is demonstrated in the ludicrous language she employs in her conversations with Sir Credulous, which is as outrageously pretentious as it is when she confronts Sir Patient Fancy.

In conversations with these men, Lady Knowell does indeed let loose a barrage of "fantastical" discourse. But these men are the contemptuous lot of the play, those for whom she has little respect, and her discourse with these men is just as contemptible as she finds their behavior. For example, when Lady Knowell finds Sir Credulous alone after she had just left him with her daughter, he complains that Lucretia has made a very "Tarquinius Sextus" of him, and, "like an ungratefull illiterate Woman as she is," she abandoned him before he could present his speech, which, he claims, would have been "the very Nosegay of Eloquence" (4.1.20-25). Lady Knowell may seem to reply sympathetically, but her language suggests a much different response: "Be not discourag'd, Sir, I'le adapt her to a reconciliation, Lovers must sometimes expect these little Belli-fugaces, the Grecians therefore truly named love Glucupicros Eros" (4.1.26-43).

Behn did not arbitrarily choose Lady Knowell's word "glucupikron." Literally translated "sweetbitter," it is a word coined by the Greek poet Sappho, who writes of Eros, "Eros once again limb-loosener whirls me / sweetbitter, impossible to fight off, creature stealing up" (Carson 3). (6) Carson observes that the activation of Eros requires a three-part structure--the lover, the beloved, and that which comes between them (16). "Eros denotes 'want,' 'lack,' 'desire for that which is missing.' The lover wants what he does not have" (10). Sappho suggests that Eros steals up and takes the lover as if unaware, shaking him or her violently. But this could hardly be the case with the courtship of the "coxcomb" Sir Credulous, who includes a pageant of elephants as part of his serenade and who offers loud and buffoonish speeches. Sir Credulous desires what Lady Knowell will not allow him to have--her daughter--and what her daughter rejects; thus, he can expect "little Belli-fugaces" as long as he pursues her.

While Lady Knowell may employ outrageous discourse with Sir Credulous Easy, she uses this same fantastical language to attack Sir Patient Fancy. For example, when he decides to marry his daughter off to Wittmore, disguised as Fainlove, whom Isabella views as a fop, Lady Knowell is enraged and confronts Sir Patient. The two exchange insults about each other's family, and Lady Knowell assures him that regardless of his machinations, she will indeed marry her son to Isabella.

Sir Patient: Oh abominable! You had best say, she is none of my Daughter, and that I was a Cuckold.--

Lady Knowell: If I should Sir, it would not amount to Scandalum Magnatum, I'le tell thee more; thy whole Pedigree, --And yet for all this Lodowick shall marry your Daughter, and yet I'le have none of your Nephew. (2.1.404-412)

With the exception of the scene in which she gives Leander to Lucretia, Lady Knowell's conversations with the young persons in the play are rarely punctuated with Latin or the extreme examples of fantastical discourse that she uses with Sir Credulous and Sir Patient Fancy. In fact, she states explicitly--and in common terms--her mission in regard to Sir Patient Fancy when she tells Leander after having given him to Lucretia, "I have no joy beyond cheating that filthy Uncle of thine" (5.1.185).

While Lady Knowell frequently uses Greek and Latin, "hard words" as Sir Patient calls them (2.1.183), to mock the men she finds most contemptible, the young girls in this play adopt their own linguistic flare. Isabella, for example, who is not a learned lady, can be just as profuse with ridiculous discourse when she disparages Wittmore/Fainlove, during his attempt to "court" her. After Wittmore/Fainlove's barrage of senseless expressions, apparently constructed as a profession of his affection for her, Isabella replies, "You're wonderfull ingaging Sir, and I were an Ingrate not to facilitate a return for the Honour you are pleas'd to do me" (2.1.245-46). Wittmore/Fainlove's response is virtually nonsensical: "You have all the Agreemony of your Sex, La Bell Taille, la Boon Mien, & repartee bien, and are Tout oue toore, as I'me a Gentleman, fort Agreeable" (2.1.248-49). Isabella's seven-year old sister, Fanny, having heard their conversation, asks, "Gemini Sister, does the Gentleman Conjure?" (2.1.252).

Such outrageous discourse, then, is intended to mock a given situation. The difference between Wittmore/Fainlove here and Lady Knowell's discourse throughout the play is that Wittmore/Fainlove proves himself uneducated; he uses French, a modern language and thus an accepted "feminine pursuit," while Lady Knowell sprinkles her repartee with Greek and Latin, classical languages associated with a masculine education. True, Wittmore/Fainlove sets out in the above-noted conversation with Isabella to prove himself foppish in order to discourage her affections; however, he is unable to do so in any language other than a feminine one. In fact, he is forced to admit to being "the dullest Dog at Plotting, [and] Thinking, in the world" and that he should have made a "damnable Ill Town Poet" (2.1.45-46). One argument women advocating a masculine education frequently presented was that men only objected to women learning classical languages because they wished to hide their own incompetence and/or ignorance (Makin 11).

One cannot view Lady Knowell as an object of mockery because her actions throughout the play (as opposed to her language) largely demonstrate that she is a woman of reason. (7) Her intentions are to marry the young women to the men they love and to wreak revenge on Sir Patient Fancy. To oppose the men and reach her objectives, Lady Knowell employs an important masculine resource, which through her education she has been fortunate enough to obtain--logic. When Lodowick discovers that Wittmore/Fainlove is about to be married to his love, Isabella, he begs Leander for help. Leander, however, replies, "You were best to consult your Mother and Sister, women are best at intrigues of this kind" (4.1.241-2). Argumentation or "wrangling," Bathsua Makin claims, is "a thing Women are inclined to naturally"; this is because they are proficient in learning, she claims, particularly subjects such as logic, which requires the "most serious Thoughts and greatest Judgment" (13).

Given that neither of the young women in this play can "wrangle," their linguistic response to the affected amours offers an insightful glance at the uneducated woman's plight. Isabella is reduced to ill effectual "conjuring" in absurd English. Although Isabella attempts a foppish linguistic mode to deal with the deceitful Wittmore/Fainlove and his pretended courtship, Lucretia largely avoids conversation with the contemptible Sir Credulous. She does so at first because her brother Lodowick suggests Sir Credulous communicate with her using signs, but later in the play, she avoids him altogether, vowing, "I have no leisure to attend your nonsense" (4.1.17-18). Even so, she does mock him in the garden scene after he absurdly praises Lady Fancy: "I find, Sir, you can talk to purpose when you begin once" (2.1.312). Thus, it is Lady Knowell who intercedes on Isabella's behalf and Lady Knowell who manages to secure Leander for her daughter Lucretia, for Leander is at a loss to win her for himself.

In fact, the men in this play who should have been the educated lot and should, therefore, be men of reason often leave much to be desired, lacking either reason or virtue. Sir Patient Fancy appears in many scenes a fool; he is easily tricked by his seven year-old daughter, Fanny, and duped by nearly every other man in this play. Sir Patient's nephew, Leander, claims to be the greatest dunce in nature, rather than the scholar Lady Knowell takes him for, in part because he hopes to discourage Lady Knowell's advances. Yet in spite of numerous opportunities, he fails to fight for the woman he loves, claiming he is afraid to offend the mother since he wants the daughter.

Wittmore/Fainlove demonstrates no compunction about lying his way out of difficulty and, as noted above, admits to having no ability to reason or "wrangle". His plan contrived with Lady Fancy is to dupe her husband out of eight thousand pounds so they as lovers may live comfortably thereafter. Lodowick, Lady Knowell's son, sneaks into the Fancy home for a midnight rendezvous with Isabella but ends up in Lady Fancy's bed by mistake. She thinks he is her lover, Wittmore; Lodowick, aware of her mistake, remains silent and takes sexual advantage of her anyway. Later he offers her "a thousand blessings" for the goodness she has shown him (3.2.302-03).

With the fop Sir Credulous Easy, Behn clearly takes a swipe at her male colleagues, the "wits and poets" Sir Credulous Easy envies, for, he claims, "it is the prettiest sport to hear 'em rail and baule at one another--Zoz wou'd I were a Poet" (2.1.374-75). Although Sir Credulous claims to have completed three years at university and learned his logic and rhetoric, when instructed to come up with a song for courtship, he replies that it will be no problem since inventing a song is but "rummaging the Play-Books," for stealing in this way "is Lawfull Prize" (1.1.384-85).

What we might consider then is that Behn constructs her learned lady to fit overtly within the masculine paradigm of such women of wit. The playwright does this by presenting Lady Knowell at times as affected and at times exceedingly conceited. For example, when Lady Fancy claims that Sir Patient is ill again, Lady Knowell not only proceeds to explain his hypochondria, but offers that she would prescribe a remedy except that she is "loth to stir the envy of the College" (3.1.35-40).

Even so, Lady Knowell is hardly a fop, for she proves a strong and virtuous single woman, the head a household, who sets about to marry her children off to the partners they love rather than arrange a marriage commensurate with her own interests, quite unlike the foppish Philaminte in Moliere's Les Femmes Savantes. Nor is Lady Knowell inattentive to her own economic ends--two thousand pounds a year. She is quite unlike her archrival, Sir Patient Fancy, who is bilked out of eight thousand pounds and all his plate and jewels by his adulterous young bride (5.1.655-706).

Nevertheless, Lady Knowell should not be let off too easily, since, as Makin claims, the point of languages is to learn things rather than simply words (11-12). Lady Knowell does not consistently use her language skills to advance ideas, which is what Makin argues is the purpose of teaching young women classical languages; there are indeed a few moments when her words seem rather more for appearance. And certainly Lady Knowell has her moments of vanity. Nevertheless, this appears to have been Behn's purpose--to make her learned lady merely ridiculous enough to be humorous while covertly demonstrating throughout the play her virtue, intelligence, and her ability to "wrangle" when necessary. After all, education is supposed to help women become prudent, pious, and virtuous daughters.

Lady Knowell serves then as a supporting argument for the education of women. "Women are not such silly, giddy creatures, as many proud ignorant men would make them; as if they were uncapable of all improvement by Learning, and unable to digest Arts, that require any solidity of Judgment" (Makin 29). Behn continues her argument in the epilogue to this play:
   What has poor Woman done that she must be,
   Debar'd from Sense and Sacred Poetrie?
   Why in this Age has Heaven allow'd you more,
   And Women less of Wit than heretofore? (5-9)

Perhaps through her characterization of the comical and witty learned lady, Behn attempts to demonstrate that it was not Heaven in fact who had debarred womankind from anything.

(1) Behn suggests this idea as well in her poetry; for example, in "To the Unknown DAPHNIS on his Excellent Translation of Lucretius (1683)," she praises Creech for his translation and suggests that "Thou by this Translation dost advance / Our Knowledge from the State of Ignorance; / And equallst us to Man!" (Works 25-28).

(2) Osborne also notes in a letter to William Temple, dated April 14, 1653, "[L]et mee aske you if you have seen a book of Poems newly out, made by my Lady New Castle for God sake if you meet with it send it mee, they say tis ten times more Extravagant than her dresse. Sure the poore woman is a little distracted, she could never bee soe ridiculous else as to venture at writeing book's and in verse too" (75).

(3) Elin Diamond suggests this in "Gestus and Signature in The Rover" (Aphra Behn. Ed. Janet Todd. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999. 32-56.) 39, while D. R. Woolf refers to her as a "classicizing Tacitus-spouting caricature" (660 n. 63); Christopher J. Wheatley considers Lady Knowell a "comic butt" who "frequently attempts to scale the heights of eloquence" (380), and Derek Hughes finds her simply "ludicrous" (English Drama 213).

(4) In "Mother, Stepmother, and the Mother Tongue: Women Beyond the Grotesque in Aphra Behn's Sir Patient Fancy," Susan Crowson argues as I do here that Lady Knowell has no intention of marrying Leander herself but that she only feigns a pursuit of the young man (Aphra Behn [1640-1689]: Identity, Alterity, Ambiguity. Ed. Mary Ann O'Donnell, Bernard Dhuicq, and Guyonne Leduc. Paris: L'Harmattan, 2000. 183-189.) 185.

(5) See Janet Todd's commentary for this play in Behn, Works, 6: 427 n.93.

(6) For more commentary on the meaning and use of glukupikron, see Margaret Reynolds's The Sappho History (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2003.) 162-63, Lyn Hatherly Wilson's Sappho's Sweetbitter Songs: Configurations of Female and Male in Ancient Greek Lyric (London: Routledge, 1966.) 66-67, and Jane McIntosh Snyder's Lesbian Desire in the Lyrics of Sappho (New York: Columbia UP, 1997.) 22-23 and 142-43. Aphra Behn's admirers often referred to her as Sappho, as noted by Maureen Duffy (The Passionate Shepherdess: Aphra Behn 1640-1689. London: Cape, 1977.) 249; the soubriquet was not always a positive one, however, as Janet Todd demonstrates (287).

(7) In an early biography on Aphra Behn, Frederick Link observes the shrewdness Lady Knowell employs "to win her battle with Sir Patient" (54).


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Behn, Aphra. Sir Patient Fancy: A Comedy (1678). The Works of Aphra Behn. Ed. Janet Todd. Vol. 6. London: Pickering, 1996. 1-81.

--. The Forc'd Marriage, or, the Jealous Bridegroom (1671). The Works of Aphra Behn. Ed. Janet Todd. Vol 5. London: Pickering, 1996. 1-81.

--. The Dutch Lover (1673). The Works of Aphra Behn. Ed. Janet Todd. Vol. 5. London: Pickering, 1996. 157-238.

--. "To the Unknown DAPHNIS on his Excellent Translation of Lucretius." The Works of Aphra Behn. Ed. Janet Todd. Vol 1. London: Pickering, 1996. 25-28.

Burns, Edward. Restoration Comedy: Crisis of Desire and Identity. New York: St. Martin's, 1987.

Carson, Anne. Eros the Bittersweet. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1986.

Drake, Judith. An Essay in Defense of the Female Sex (1696). Mary Astell, A Serious Proposal to the Ladies. Ed. Patricia Springborg. Peterborough, Canada: Broadview Literary Texts, 2002.

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Hughes, Derek. English Drama 1660-1700. Oxford: Clarendon 1996.

--. "'Silent in Th'inchanting Circle': Women and Language in Sir Patient Fancy." Aphra Behn (1640-1689): Identity, Alterity, Ambiguity. Ed. Mary Ann O'Donnell, Bernard Dhuicq, and Guyonne Leduc. Paris: L'Harmattan, 2000. 191-196.

Link, Frederick. Aphra Behn. New York: Twayne, 1968.

Makin, Bathsua. An Essay to Revive the Ancient Education of Gentlewomen (1673). Los Angeles: William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, 1980.

Moliere. Les Femmes Savantes (1675). The Dramatic Works of Moliere. Trans. Henri Van Laun. Vol 6. Edinburgh: William Paterson, 1876. 123-217.

Osborne, Dorothy. Letters to Sir William Temple. Ed. Kenneth Parker. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin, 1987.

Reynolds, Myra. The Learned Lady in England 1650-1760. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1920.

Todd, Janet. The Secret Life of Aphra Behn. London: Andre Deutch, 1996.

van Schurman, Anna Maria. "A Practical Problem: Whether the Study of Letters is Fitting for a Christian Woman." Whether a Christian Woman Should be Educated and Other Selected Writings from Her Intellectual Circle. Ed. Joyce L. Irwin. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1998. 25-38.

Wheatley, Christopher J. "Thomas Durfey's A Fond Husband, Sex Comedies of the Late 1670s and Early 1680s, and the Comic Sublime." Studies in Philology 90 (Fall 1993): 371-390.

Woolf, D. R. "A Feminine Past? Gender, Genre and Historical Knowledge in England, 1500-1800." The American Historical Review 102.3 (1997): 645-679.

JUDY A. HAYDEN is Associate Professor of English and Director of Women's Studies at the University of Tampa. She has published several articles on Restoration Drama and is currently completing a book on Aphra Behn's early plays.
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Date:Jun 22, 2006
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