Anne Bradstreet

Bradstreet, Anne (Dudley)

Anne (Dudley) Bradstreet, c.1612–1672, early American poet, b. Northampton, England, considered the first significant woman author in the American colonies. She came to Massachusetts in the Winthrop Puritan group in 1630 with her father, Thomas Dudley, and her husband, Simon Bradstreet, both later governors of the state. A dutiful Puritan wife who raised a large family, she nevertheless found time to write poetry. In 1650 her first volume of verse appeared in London as The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America. It was followed by Several Poems (Boston, 1678), which contains "Contemplations," probably her best work. Her verses are often derivative and formal, but some are graced by realistic simplicity and genuine feeling.

See her works ed. by J. Hensley (1967, repr. 1981) and by J. R. McElrath et al. (1981); biographies by E. W. White (1971) and C. Gordon (2005); P. Crowell and A. Stanford, ed., Critical Essays on Anne Bradstreet (1983).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

An American Triptych: Anne Bradstreet, Emily Dickinson, Adrienne Rich
Wendy Martin.
University of North Carolina Press, 1984
Advertising the Domestic: Anne Bradstreet's Sentimental Poetics
VanEngen, Abram.
Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers, Vol. 28, No. 1, January 2011
Puritanism in America, 1620-1750
Everett Emerson.
Twayne Publishers, 1977
Librarian’s tip: "Anne Bradstreet: The Tenth Muse" begins on p. 107
The Nightingale's Burden: Women Poets and American Culture before 1900
Cheryl Walker.
Indiana University Press, 1982
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 1 "Methodology and Mystery: Anne Bradstreet"
Seventeenth-Century American Poetry: A Reference Guide
William J. Scheick; Joella Doggett.
G.K. Hall, 1977
Librarian’s tip: Chap. IX "Bradstreet, Anne (c. 1612-1672)"
American Women Writers to 1800
Sharon M. Harris.
Oxford University Press, 1996
Librarian’s tip: "Anne Dudley Bradstreet (1612-1672)" begins on p. 305
The Practice of Piety: Puritan Devotional Disciplines in Seventeenth-Century New England
Charles E. Hambrick-Stowe.
University of North Carolina Press, 1982
Librarian’s tip: "Anne Bradstreet" begins on p. 13
Authorizing Experience: Refigurations of the Body Politic in Seventeenth-Century New England Writing
Jim Egan.
Princeton University Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Five "The Insignificance of Experience"
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