Name at birth: Aphra Johnson
In the 1660s, Aphra Behn served as a spy in Belgium for King Charles II, who had just gained the throne of England after the rule of the Cromwells. By 1670 her first play was produced, The Forced Marriage, the first in a string of successful plays. During the remainder of her life she wrote plays, poems and novels, and is considered one of the first women professional writers in the English language.
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