Aphra Behn was a British fiction writer, translator, and playwright during the Restoration era (mid-to-late 1600’s). She was actually one of the first English women to make her living off of her writing, breaking barriers and inspiring future women to become authors.
Her writing was no doubt affected by her very exciting life. Charles II actually employed her as a spy in Antwerp. After she finished her spy missions, and spent some time in prison, she began writing under the pseudonym Astrea.
She is honored in Virginia Woolf’s essay, A Room of One’s Own: “All women together ought to let flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn which is, most scandalously but rather appropriately, in Westminster Abbey, for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds.”