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The folks behind Audible, the Amazon-owned company and largest seller of narrated books, want your dog to listen to Pride and Prejudice and other classic literature. The company is teaming up with famed Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan on an aptly named new service called Audible For Dogs.
The pitch to pet owners isn’t to turn Fido into a canine scholar but rather to keep him calm and happy when you leave for work.
Led by a group of influential authors who pull no punches when it comes to calling out their colleagues’ work, and amplified by tens of thousands of teen and young-adult followers for whom online activism is second nature, the campaigns to keep offensive books off shelves are a regular feature in a community that’s as passionate about social justice as it is about reading. And while not every callout escalates into a full-scale dragging, in the case of The Black Witch — a book by a newcomer with a minimal presence online — the backlash was immediate and intense.
Beyond her successes on the stage and in fiction, Aphra Behn was a Royalist spy in the Netherlands and probably South America. She also served as a political propagandist for the courts of Charles II and his unpopular brother James II. Thus her life has to be deeply embedded in the tumultuous 17th century, in conflict-ridden England and Continental Europe and in the mismanaged slave colonies of the Americas. Her necessarily furtive activities, along with her prolific literary output of acknowledged and anonymous works, make her a lethal combination of obscurity, secrecy and staginess, an uneasy fit for any biographical narrative, speculative or factual. Aphra Behn is not so much a woman to be unmasked as an unending combination of masks and intrigue, and her work delivers different images and sometimes contradictory views.