The tale of Oroonoko, the Royal Slave is indisputedly Mrs. Behn's masterpiece in prose. Its originality and power have singled it out for a permanence and popularity none of her other works attained. It is vivid, realistic, pregnant with pathos, beauty, and truth, and not only has it so impressed itself upon the readers of more than two centuries, but further, it surely struck a new note in English literature and one which was re-echoed far and wide. It has been said that 'Oroonoko is the first emancipation novel', and there is no little acumen in this remark. Certainly we may absolve Mrs. Behn from having directly written with a purpose such as animated Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin; but none the less her sympathy with the oppressed blacks, her deep emotions of pity for outraged humanity, her anger at the cruelties of the slave-driver aye ready with knout or knife, are manifest in every line.