Work in Progress

A Woman of Good Courage

The first in a series of novels about Aphra Behn and her fictional maidservant, Prudence.

Brief Summary:


A Woman of Good Courage is a historical fiction novel set during the Restoration and is the first in a series of novels about the life of Prudence Rutherford, the fictional maidservant of England’s first female professional poet and dramatist, Aphra Behn.  In A Woman of Good Courage, we meet Prudence as she begins a new life after the loss of her husband and child.  After providing a service to Aphra and her family, Prudence is invited to travel with them to the South American colony of Suriname, where Aphra is to work as a royal spy and where they encounter the slave prince Oroonoko.  The narrative follows Prudence and Aphra as they face the challenges of being women in the later 17th century.  Together they experience love and loss, witness the evils of slavery and colonization, and, in the midst of crisis, they learn to appreciate the importance of female friendship.


An untitled television mini-series about Sir William Davenant



London: 1656. Plays - in fact, most forms of theatrical entertainment - have been outlawed since the outbreak of the first Civil War in 1642.  But with London’s economy faltering under strict, Puritan rule, William Davenant - a known Royalist during the war - tries to convince the government that theatrical productions may help to revitalise the economy and thus prevent a popular uprising. Without the government’s explicit permission, Davenant stages The Siege of Rhodes in his own home, and its success emboldens him to take his productions to a public theatre: the Cockpit, where he stages 3 more extravagant productions under the constant threat of arrest, and against the backdrop of growing unrest as Cromwell’s health and his power decline.


The series will explore Davenant’s passionate determination to not only revitalise English theatre but also to re-think what theatre can do and his highly dangerous determination to stage his dramas despite the fact that they were still illegal.  It will also take a closer look at the waning days of Cromwell’s administration, the failure of his son to hold onto power, and the political climate in early 1660 as London awaited the arrival of its new king.

Natasha O'Brien(1).png
Image by Dieter K


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