Callis: What, go in masquerade?…what would you do there?
Hellena: That which all the world does…be as mad as the rest and take all innocent freedoms
Aphra Behn was the first female professional writer in England and the most prolific playwright of the late 17thcentury, after Dryden. The Rover, her most popular play, is set in Naples during the misrule of carnival time, when prohibitions are temporarily removed, privileges and rank suspended, and women, from convent girls to courtesans, take the initiative. Behn has been credited with creating more daring dialogue between the sexes than many of her male contemporaries. The Roverexplores issues of love, trickery and deception, forced marriage, male power, fidelity and the excesses of sexual passion.
This student edition contains a lengthy Introduction with background on the author, date and sources, theme, critical interpretation and stage history.