The Rover

The Rover "The Rover": Origins and Reception

Aphra Behn's "The Rover" was published in 1677 and first performed in March of that year at Duke's Theatre in Dorset Garden. The play is based upon Thomas Killigrew's drama "Thomas, or, The Wanderer," which was published in 1664. Some dialogue in Behn's "The Rover" closely resembles that found in Thomaso's script; however, the majority of the text was re-written completely, or else is entirely original. As a result of such similarities between texts, Behn was accused of plagiarism on more than one occasion.

Behn's "The Rover" was very well received in the theatre, particularly by Charles II, and also by his successors. Seventy performances of the play are recorded between 1700 and 1725, and another eighty-eight over the course of the following thirty-five years.