Flowers For Aphra Behn’s Grave

“All women together ought to let flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn, for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds.” – Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

I had never heard of Aphra Behn prior to my English 220 course this semester. Aphra Behn is the first professional English literary writer. She made is possible for women to write. She is also an amatory writer—those who wrote the ancestors of what would become one of the best things in the world: novels.

Thank God for Eng220 and Aphra Behn.

Should I ever have the good fortune to visit her grave, my bouquet will compose of the following:

A red rose for Oroonoko and Imoinda, frankly the best Romeo and Juliet story I have ever read.

A handful of petals for Oroonoko’s body, which is hacked apart and scattered by the end of the story.

In fact, a poppy for the harsh, violent reality she reveals in her uncensored writing.

A bundle of lavender for making the way for the numerous female authors; like Jane Austen, Mary Shelly, Agatha Christie, J.K. Rowling, and the Bronte sisters.

A lily because the writing space she opened includes me.

And a carnation for her wit, which despite its inability to withstand death, will withstand the test of time.

Today’s end quote is her epitaph:

behn_aphra grave


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