Abducted into Slavery, Separated from His Love Forever Oroonoko: or, the Royal Slave is a short work of prose fiction by Aphra Behn (1640-1689), published in 1688 by William Canning and reissued with two other fictions later that year. The eponymous hero is an African prince from Coramantien who is tricked into slavery and sold to British colonists in Surinam where he meets the narrator. Behn's text is a first person account of his life, love, rebellion and execution. This short novel was based on the author's own experiences in the new South American colony. It is one of the earliest English novels. Interest in it has increased since the 1970s, critics arguing that Behn is the foremother of British women writers, and that Oroonoko is a crucial text in the history of the novel. Aphra Behn (baptised 14 December 1640 - 16 April 1689) was a prolific dramatist of the English Restoration, the first English professional female literary writer.