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[Behn, Aphra,]
Love-Letters Between a Nobleman and his Sister (London: Randal Taylor, 1684).

Aphra Behn, Love-Letters Between a Noble-Man and his Sister (London: Randal Taylor, 1684).

Love-Letters| Between a| NOBLE-MAN| And his| SISTER.| [rule]| [ornament]| [rule]| LONDON,| Printed, and are to be sold by| Randal Taylor near Stationer’s| Hall. MDCLXXXIV.

Description

p.[i] titlepage/ p.[iii-ixx] "Epistle", Dedication to Thomas Condon, Esq./ p.[xx-xxiv] "The Argument"/ p.1-344 Text/ 12░

History of Publication
A. 1.a this editionLove-Letters Between a Nobleman and his Sister (London: Randal Taylor, 1684).
2.a Love Letters From a Noble Man to his Sister: Mixt With the History of their Adventures. The Second Part by the Same Hand (London: Printed for the Author, and are to be sold by the Booksellers of London, 1685).link
3.a The Amours of Philander and Silvia: Being the Third and last Part of the Love-Letters Between a Noble-Man and his Sister (London: Printed, and are to be sold by most Book-Sellers, 1687).link
1-3.b Love-Letters Between a Nobleman and his Sister (London: Printed for J. Hindmarsh and J. Tonson, 1693).link
c [...] 3rd edition (1708). [8░.]
d [...] 4th edition (London: D. Brown/ J. Tonson/ J. Nicholson/ B. Tooke/ G. Strahan, 1712). [Reprint with same pagination.]link
e [...] 5th edition (London: D. Brown/ J. Tonson/ J. Nicholson/ B. Tooke/ G. Strahan, 1718). [Again: reprint with same pagination.]link
f [...] 6th edition (London: Printed for D. Brown/ J. Tonson/ B. Tooke/ G. Strahan/ S. Ballard/ W. Mears/ F. Clay, 1721). {Cambridge University Library: S727.d.72.16} {BNF: FRBNF30077703}
g [...] Dublin: Printed by S. Powell, for P. Crampton, 1729), 459 p (120) {Cambridge University Library: Hib.7.729.40}
h [...] 6th [!] edition (London: Printed for J. Tonson [etc.], 1735-36).
i [...] 7th (London, 1759) 12mo.
j [...] 8th edition (London: L. Hawes & Co. [etc.], 1765).
k Love-letters between a nobleman and his sister, with a new introduction by Maureen Duffy, Virago modern classic, no.240 (London: Virago, 1987).
l The Works of Aphra Behn. Volume 2, Love-letters between a nobleman and his sister, ed. by Janet Todd (London: W. Pickering, 1993).
m [...] ed. by Janet Todd (London/ New York: Penguin, 1996).
1-3.n Love-Letters Between a Noble-Man and his Sister, e-text (html) of the first editions, ed. Olaf Simons (2006).link

In English Verse:

B. a Love-letters between a nobelman and his sister : viz. F-----rd Lord Br---y of Werk, and the Lady Henrietta Berk----ley, under the borrow'd names of Philander and Silvia, done into verse, by the author of the Letters from a nun to a cavalier (Date?)
b [...] The second edition (London, 1734). {L: 11626.a.24}
c [...] The third edition (Dublin: Printed for James Dalton, at the corner of Bride's-Ally in Patrick Street, and for James Kelburn, at the three Golden Balls in George's Lane, near the Castle-Market, 1739), 1 p.l., 96, [6] p. ; 17 cm, {Yale University Library: BEIN Ib55 td3: Miscelany [!] poems}

Italian:

C. a Lettere d'amore tra un gentiluomo e sua sorella, a cura di Annamaria Lamarra (Urbino: Quattro venti, 1999), ISBN 88-392-0507-1
Remarks

Epistolary novel with a misleading historical background (the story the relationsip between Forde Grey, Earl of Tankerville, 1655-1701, and his sister-in-law Lady Henrietta Berkeley, 1664 or 1665-1710, which went through the English papers in 1682 seems to have actually triggered the publication).

France in the early years of Louis XIV. Philander (associate of Caesario, the Prince of Condé) falls in love with Silvia, sister of his wife Mertilla. She, living at the Manor house of her parents, manages to exchange letters with him - he enjoys for most of the novel's short stretch of time the protection of Dorillus, a farmer bound to Silvia's father. The exchange of letters deals mostly with the question whether both should meet secretly at night; Silvia's servants assist their young lady. Would it not be a double sin, ruining Silvia and hurting Mertilla, her Sister? Mertilla intervenes with a letter openly warning the sister not to trust Philander's confessions of love. The first meeting turns into failure when Philander finds himself unable to perform the consummation - a situation read by Silvia as proof of his neglect of her beauty. The second encounter is more happy in this respect and an act now clearly building on Silvia's consent. Philander has turned jealous of Foscario, the gentleman Sivia's parents have designed for her husband, and Silvia's feels she has to prove that she actually loves him. The encounter is otherwise fatal. Philander cannot escape unnoticed. Silvia's parents and sister opt for the seedy marriage of the fallen virgin. Silvia escapes assisted by Philander's servant Billjard. The problem is now Philander's getting lost in the affair, he remains in the forest where Silvia enters the coach to Paris and has a duel with Foscario little later. The eclarissement serves to bring Philander into the Bastille, while Silvia remains hidden in Paris. Caesario uses his influence and money to secure Philander's temporal freedom, a situation the couple uses to escape to the Netherlands. The story ends with Philander's letter to Silvia calling her to the boat they shall use for their escape.

The most interesting aspects are probably the moral reflections of the young Lovers who risk to step out of all conventions and restrictions. Neither law, religion nor family ties ultimately prevent them from following their burning desires. The stile is apropriate an early version of storm and stress with its own brand of "rhetorick of love", exclamations, sighs, shorter and longer dashes (and a print full of irreguarities).

Literature

Day, Robert, Told in Letters. Epistolary Fiction Before Richardson (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1966).

Lindquist, Carol A., "Aphra Behn and the First Epistolary Novel in English," Publications of the Arkansas Philological Association, 3:2 (1977), pp. 29-33.

Duffy, Maureen, Introduction to Love-letters between a nobleman and his sister, with a new introduction by Maureen Duffy (London: Virago, 1987).

Gardiner, Judith Kegan, "The First English Novel: Aphra Behn's Love Letters, The Canon," Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, 8:2 (1989 Fall), pp. 201-22.

Wehrs, Donald R., "Eros, Ethics, Identity: Royalist Feminism and the Politics of Desire in Aphra Behn's Love Letters," SEL: Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, 32:3 (1992 Summer), pp. 461-78.

Backscheider, Paula R., "Sex, Sin and Ideology: The Drama's Gift to the Genesis of the Novel," in: Mydlarski, Henri (ed.)/ Oakleaf, David (ed.), Lumen, XII [=Lumen: Proceedings of the Canadian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies/Actes de la Societe Canadienn, 12] (Edmonton: Academic, 1993), pp. 1-15.

Pollak, Ellen, "Beyond Incest: Gender and the Politics of Transgression in Aphra Behn's Love-Letters between a Nobleman and His Sister," in: Hutner, Heidi (ed.), Rereading Aphra Behn: History, Theory, and Criticism (Charlottesville: UP of Virginia, 1993), pp. 151-86.

Salvaggio, Ruth, "Aphra Behn's Love: Fiction, Letters, and Desire," in: Hutner, Heidi (ed.), Rereading Aphra Behn: History, Theory, and Criticism (Charlottesville: UP of Virginia, 1993), pp. 253-70.

Todd, Janet, "Spectacular Deaths: History and Story in Aphra Behn's Love Letters, Oroonoko, and The Widow Ranter," in Gender, Art and Death (New York: Continuum, 1993), pp. 31-62.

Todd, Janet, "'The Hot Brute Drudges On': Ambiguities of Desire in Aphra Behn's Love-Letters between a Nobleman and His Sister," Women's Writing, 1:3 (1994), pp. 277-90.

Richards, Cynthia, "The Unintended Female Reader in Aphra Behn's Love-Letters Between A Nobleman and his Sister", Michigan feminist studies, No. 9 (Ann Arbor, MI: Women's Studies Program, University of Michigan, 1994-1995), 66-80/ e-text, Ann Arbor, Michigan 2002.link

Kirchhofer, Anton, "Strategie und Wahrheit als Aspekte der Problematisierung von Leidenschaften und Geschlecht — Roman: Behns Love Letters between a Nobleman and his Sister (1684-87)," in Strategie und Wahrheit: Zum Einsatz von Wissen über Leidenschaften und Geschlecht im Roman der englischen Empfindsamkeit (München: Fink, 1995)/ (Cologne: Pierre Marteau, 2004), chap. 2.1. e-text.link

Howlett, Kathy, "The Entangled History of Legal and Fictional Discourse in The Trial of Ford Lord Grey of Werk and Aphra Behn's Love Letters between a Nobleman and His Sister," CEA Critic: An Official Journal of the College English Association, 58:1 (1995 Fall), pp. 25-35.

Pollack, Ellen, "Beyond Incest: Gender and Politics of Transgression in Aphra Behn's Love-Letters between a Nobleman and His Sister," in Rereading Aphra Behn: History, Theory, and Criticism, ed. Heidi Hutner (Charlottesville: Univ. Press of Virginia, 1993), pp. 151-86; rpt. in Aphra Behn: New Casebooks, ed. Janet Todd (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999), pp. 158-79.

Todd, Janet, Introduction to Love-Letters between a Noble-Man and His Sister, ed. Janet Todd (London: Penguin, 1996).

Todd, Janet, "Who Is Silvia? What Is She? Feminine Identity in Aphra Behn's Love-Letters between a Nobleman and His Sister," in: Todd, Janet (ed.), Aphra Behn Studies (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1996), pp. 199-218.

Richetti, John, "Love Letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister: Aphra Behn and Amatory Fiction," in: Rivero, Albert J. (ed.), Augustan Subjects: Essays in Honor of Martin C. Battestin (Newark, DE/ London, England: U of Delaware P/ Associated UP, 1997), pp. 13-28.

Chernaik, Warren, "Unguarded Hearts: Transgression and Epistolary Form in Aphra Behn's Love-Letters and the Portuguese Letters," Journal of English and Germanic Philology, 97:1 (1998 Jan), pp. 13-33.

Rivero, Albert J., "'Hieroglifick'd' History in Aphra Behn's Love-Letters between a Nobleman and His Sister," Studies in the Novel, 30:2 (1998 Summer), pp. 126-38.

Bowers, Toni, "Seduction Narratives and Tory Experience in Augustan England," Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, 40:2 (1999 Summer), pp. 128-54.

Starr, G. Gabrielle, "Rereading Prose Fiction: Lyric Convention in Aphra Behn and Eliza Haywood,", Eighteenth-Century Fiction, 12:1 (1999 Oct), pp. 1-18.

Starr, G. Gabrielle, "Love's 'Proper Musick': Lyric Inflection in Behn's Epistles," in: O'Donnell, Mary Ann (ed.) Dhuicq, Bernard (ed. and introd.) Leduc, Guyonne (ed.). Aphra Behn (1640-1689): Identity, Alterity, Ambiguity (Paris, France: Harmattan, 2000), pp. 111-24.

Todd, Janet, "Love-Letters and Critical History" in: O'Donnell, Mary Ann (ed.) Dhuicq, Bernard (ed. and introd.) Leduc, Guyonne (ed.). Aphra Behn (1640-1689): Identity, Alterity, Ambiguity (Paris, France: Harmattan, 2000), pp. 197-201.

Todd, Janet, "Fatal Fluency: Behn's Fiction and the Restoration Letter," Eighteenth-Century Fiction, 12:2-3 (2000 Jan-Apr), pp. 417-34.

Conway, Alison Margaret, "The Protestant Cause and a Protestant Whore: Aphra Behn's Love-letters", Eighteenth-Century Life, Volume 25, Number 3, (2001 Fall), pp. 1-19.

Narain, Mona, "Body and Politics in Aphra Behn's Love Letters between a Nobleman and His Sister," Wallwork, Jo (ed.) Salzman, Paul (ed. and introd.), Women Writing, 1550-1750 [=Meridian: The La Trobe University English Review, 18 (Bundoora, Australia: Meridian, 2001), pp. 151-62.

Simons, Olaf, "Aphra Behns Love-Letters (1684-87) - ein problematischer Klassiker" in: Marteaus Europa oder Der Roman, bevor er Literatur wurde (Amsterdam/ Atlanta: Rodopi, 2001), pp 376-79, 382-85.

Quinsee, Susannah, "Deconstructing Female 'Virtue': Mariana Alcofords's Five Love Letters from a Nun to a Cavalier and Aphra Behn's Love Letters between a Nobleman and His Sister," Eighteenth-Century Women: Studies in Their Lives, Work, and Culture, 2 (2002), pp. 1-21.

Steen, Francis F., "Cognitive Historicism: Situating the Literary Mind The Politics of Love: Propaganda and Structural Learning in Aphra Behn's Love-Letters between a Nobleman and His Sister" Poetics Today, 23(1) (2002) 91-122. link to pdf versionlink

Figueroa-Dorrego, Jorge, Reconciling 'the Most Contrary and Distant Thoughts': Paradox and Irony in the Novels of Aphra Behn ed. and introd. by Zenón Luis-Martínez, Jorge Figueroa-Dorrego (Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang, 2003).

Love, Harold, "Vocal Register in Behn's Love-Letters between a Nobleman and His Sister," English Language Notes, 41:1 (2003 Sept), pp. 44-53.

Pollak, Ellen, Incest and the English Novel, 1684-1814 (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins UP, 2003). x, 261 pp.

Reeves, Margaret, "History, Fiction, and Political Identity: Heroic Rebellion in Aphra Behn's Love-Letters between a Nobleman and His Sister and Oroonoko," in: Cope, Kevin L. (ed. and foreword) Battigelli, Anna (ed.), 1650-1850: Ideas, Ăsthetics, and Inquiries in the Early Modern Era, (New York, NY: AMS, 2003), pp. 269-94.

Rivas, Margarita C., "Politics and Sex in Aphra Behn's Love-Letters", in Revisiting and Reinterpreting Aphra Behn, ed. by Margarete Rubik, Jorge Figueroa-Dorrego, Bernard Dhuicq (Entrevaux: Bilingua, 2003).

Ballaster, Ros, "'The Story of the Heart': Love-Letters between a Noble-Man and His Sister, in: The Cambridge Companion to Aphra Behn ed. by Derek Hughes and Janet Todd (Cambridge, England: Cambridge UP, 2004), pp. 135-50.

Ahern, Stephen, "'Glorious Ruine': Romantic Excess and the Politics of Sensibility in Behn's Love-Letters", Restoration: Studies in English Literary Culture, 1660-1700, 29:1 (2005 Spring), pp. 29-45.

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