Aphra Behn Statue

Aphra Behn Statue

The society’s principal campaign is raising a statue to the shamefully neglected Aphra Behn (1640-1689), Britain’s first ever female professional writer. Smash-hit playwright, poet and spy, she was sufficiently celebrated in her day to be buried in Westminster Abbey, but the city where she grew up does not even have a street named after her! We are setting this straight.

Watch the short BBC video below to find out more about why she is so important:


After an international competition and showing the maquettes of our four shortlisted designs around the country, we commissioned the celebrated British artist Christine Charlesworth to create a bronze lifesize+ statue of the 17-year-old Aphra, the age at which she left Canterbury for London. As long as all necessary permissions and site clearances can be obtained, the piece will stand outside the Beaney House of Art & Knowledge in the High Street. We have already raised thousands of pounds for the project, much of it from small individual donations and events such as a Grand Aphra Behn Dinner and Auction. However, we are still short of our target. Please help!

More about Aphra Behn:



The link takes you to A is for Aphra, a fantastic website full of Behn facts, free educational resources and other information.