Aphra Behn’s London
1. Birdcage Walk: a favorite Restoration walk, lined with aviaries built by Charles II.
2. Westminster Abbey: Behn is buried in the Cloisters.
3. Pall Mall: Nell Gywnn, one of the leading actresses of the period, a close friend of Behn’s, and a mistress of Charles II, lived at No. 79.
4. The Banqueting Hall, Whitehall Place: one of the few surviving bits of Whitehall Palace, residence of Charles II and James II. See attached guide.
5. York Watergate: marked the river’s edge in Behn’s time.
6. #12 Buckingham St.: Samuel Pepys’ home from 1679-1688. Pepys was a devoted diarist and theatregoer who has left us extensive accounts of daily life in the Restoration.
7. The Lamb and Flag, Rose St.: pub extant during Behn’s time; John Dryden was attacked outside the pub, possibly by literary enemies. Site of our pub lunch, if possible.
8. #1 Bow St: site of Will’s Coffeehouse, the heart of Restoration literary London.
9. The Strand: Behn’s mother, Elizabeth Johnson, is thought to have lived in this neighborhood after she joined her daughter in London.
10. Theatre Royal, Drury Lane: the site of Thomas Killegrew’s theatre. The King’s Company (the name of his theatre company ) was rival to Behn’s company, The Duke’s. However, the two companies merged in 1683, and The Lucky Chance was produced here in l686.
11. Lincoln’s Inn Fields: the first home of the Duke’s Company. Behn’s first play. The Amorous Prince, was produced here in l671. During the time of The Lucky Chance, it had become a dangerous part of the city; Bredwell tells Gayman his “spirit” will meet him at L.I.F. at the end of II,i.
12. The Temple: John Hoyle, Behn’s lover, had his law offices here and lived nearby. Her publisher was also located in this area.
13. Fleet Street: site of the Fleet Prison, where Behn was imprisoned for debt in 1668. Supposedly, in 1686, Behn’s coach broke down in the slush in front of the Temple on Fleet Street, and Behn was thrown out. Also located here is Child’s Bank, one of London’s oldest bank, and perhaps the kind of establishment Sir Cautious ran. See attached.
14. Gray’s Inn: place where John Hoyle studied law.
15. St. Andrew’s Street: Hoyle murdered a man here in l665, but was acquitted.
16. Whitefriar’s Rd.: Behn lived most of her London life somewhere in this area. Alsatia, the slum where Gayman is living in The Lucky Chance, was located in the bad part of Whitefriars.
17. Dorset Blgs: the site of the Dorset Garden Theatre, the home of the Duke’s Company, Behn’s employer.
18. Dorset St: at the end of her life, Behn lived here.
19. St. Bride’s: Behn’s neighborhood parish, and the possible site where her husband is buried: a Richard Ben, merchant of Dutch extraction, is buried here. See attached.
20. Criminal Courts, The Old Bailey: the judicial center of Behn’s (and modern day London). Hoyle was tried here for homosexuality in 1687. The charges were dismissed.
21. Guildhall: center of London government. Bredwell tells Sir Feeble that the Alderman are gathering there because of a threat to the King, a ruse to get him to go to Sir Cautious’ house before he can bed Leticia.
22. Bank of England: established during the late seventeenth century, it was important to the merchants of the city like Fulbank and Fainwood.
23. The Royal Exchange: established by Charles II. Again, an important financial center for city merchants like Fulbank and Fainwood.