The Scandal of the Century

Lisa Hilton



Biography & Memoir > Non-Fiction

ISBN: 9781405953320


‘A sweeping, scintillatingly original, exciting exploration of writer, spy, power player, lover Aphra Behn’ Kate Williams, historian and author of Rival Queens: The Betrayal of Mary, Queen of Scots—-A CLANDESTINE AFFAIR ‘Whereas the Lady Henrietta Berkeley has been absent from her Father’s house since the 20th August last past… AN OUTRAGEOUS ELOPEMENT … and is not yet known where she is, nor whether she is alive or dead. STOLEN LETTERS, SCHEMING SERVANTS These are to give notice That whoever shall find her, so that she may be brought back to her Father, the Earl of Berkeley, they shall have 200 Pounds Reward’ SEX.

SENSATION. CELEBRITY. This is The Scandal of the Century – and the true story of the author Aphra Behn, who used a shocking love affair to create the first English novel . . . —-In 1682, a young woman in the throes of a passionate affair flees her parents’ home in Surrey to seek a new life in London.

A scandal in its own right, but this is no ordinary young woman: Lady Henrietta Berkeley is the daughter of one of England’s most powerful men, and her lover is her own sister’s husband.

As news of this notorious adulteress spreads, her flight, capture and the lawsuit that follow tear through society as the scandal of the century. To Aphra Behn, England’s first professional female writer – herself condemned as a scarlet woman of loose morals – Henrietta’s trial would be more than a source of shock and intrigue: it would inspire her to write Love Letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister, an outrageous and bestselling political fiction and arguably the first novel in English literature. Aphra herself is an enigma, the facts about her life continually disputed.

By revealing the story of these two rebellious and ruthless women, Lisa Hilton’s new history offers a surprisingly original theory on the origins of one of England’s most celebrated playwrights.

Against the backdrop of seventeenth-century England, with its strict traditional conventions of love, duty and identity, The Scandal of the Century shows just how far both women will go to break free.

Delivery options

Orders are processed and dispatched Monday to Friday.

Estimated Dispatch Times:

Items are usually dispatched within twenty-four to seventy-two hours. Dispatch time does not include delivery. If one or more items are not available when you place your order there may be a delay in dispatch, so that we can send your items in as few parcels as possible. 

Latest UK Delivery Estimates

  • 1st Class - 1-2 working days
  • 2nd Class -  2-3 working days
  • Free Click and Collect at Daunt Books Marylebone

Latest International Delivery Estimates

  • Europe - Standard 7-10 working days
  • Europe - Tracked and Signed 4-7 working days
  • Rest of the World - Standard 15-20 working days
  • Rest of the World - Tracked and Signed 10-15 working days

Ongoing Covid restrictions, reduced air and freight capacity, high volumes and winter weather conditions are all impacting transportation and local delivery across the globe. 

Overseas Delivery Information

We are experiencing delays with deliveries to many countries, but in most cases local services have now resumed. For more details, please consult the latest information provided by Royal Mail's International Incident Bulletin.

Overseas Customs

If you are ordering goods for delivery outside of the UK, please note that your consignment may be subject to import duties and taxes, which are levied once the goods reach the country of destination.

Any such charges levied in relation to customs clearance must be paid by you. It is accepted by you that Daunt Books has no control over additional charges in relation to customs clearance. We recommend that you check with your local customs officials or post office for more information regarding importation taxes/duties that may be applicable to your online order as this changes country to country. 

Additional information

Weight 1 kg
Dimensions 25 × 17 × 8 cm