Anne Bradstreet

Anne Bradstreet

Anne Bradstreet (c. 1612 – September 16, 1672) was a writer and the first notable American poet and the first woman to be published in Colonial America.


Bradstreet was born Anne Dudley in Northampton, England, 1612. She was the daughter of Thomas Dudley, a steward of the Earl of Lincoln, and Dorothy Yorke. [cite web |url=| title=Anne Bradstreet biography || accessdate=2007-01-25] Due to her family's position she grew up in cultured circumstances and was an unusually well-educated woman for her time, being tutored in history, several languages, and literature. At the age of sixteen she married Simon Bradstreet. Both Anne's father and husband were later to serve as governors of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Anne and Simon, along with Anne's parents, immigrated to America aboard the "Arbella" as part of the Winthrop Fleet of Puritan emigrants in 1630.Woodlief, A. (n.d.). " [ Biography of Anne Bradstreet] ". Retrieved September 1, 2006.]

Her 1630 immigration to Salem aboard the "Arbella" was a difficult three-month journey during which many of her fellow shipmates perished, unable to survive the harsh climate, poor living conditions and bouts of scurvy. Bradstreet was ill-prepared for such rigorous travel and found the journey very difficult. The migrants' trials and tribulations did not end upon their arrival, however, as many of the survivors died shortly thereafter or elected to return to England. Thomas Dudley and his sometimes friend and erstwhile rival John Winthrop made up the Boston settlement's government: Winthrop was Governor, Dudley Deputy-Governor and Simon Bradstreet Chief-Administrator.

Having previously been afflicted with smallpox, Anne would once again fall prey to illness as paralysis took over her joints; however, she did not let her predicament dim her passion for living, and creating a home and family with her husband. Despite her poor health, she had eight children and achieved a comfortable social standing.

Tragedy struck one night in 1666 when the Bradstreet home was engulfed in flames; a devastating fire that left the family homeless and devoid of personal belongings for a time. By then, Anne Bradstreet's health was slowly failing. She suffered from tuberculosis and had to deal with the loss of her daughter Dorothy to illness as well. But her will remained strong, and perhaps, as a reflection of her religious devotion and her knowledge of Biblical scriptures, she found peace in the firm belief that her daughter was in heaven.

Bradstreet's education allowed her to write with authority about politics, history, medicine, and theology. Her personal library of books was said to have numbered over 800, many of which were destroyed when her home burned down on July 10, 1666. This event itself inspired a poem entitled "", wherein Bradstreet rejects the anger and grief that this worldly tragedy has caused her and instead looks toward God and the assurance of heaven as consolation, saying::"And when I could no longer look,:"I blest his grace that gave and took, :"That laid my goods now in the dust. :"Yea, so it was, and so 'twas just. :"It was his own; it was not mine. :"Far be it that I should repine."

Anne Bradstreet died on September 16, 1672, in Andover, Massachusetts, at the age of 60. The precise location of her grave is uncertain as she may either have been buried next to her husband in "the Old Burying Point" in Salem, Massachusetts, or in "the Old Burying Ground" on Academy Road in North Andover, Massachusetts.


Much of Bradstreet's poetry is based on observation of the world around her, focusing heavily on domestic and religious themes. Long considered primarily of historical interest, she won critical acceptance in the 20th century as a writer of enduring verse, particularly for her sequence of religious poems "Contemplations", which was written for her family and not published until the mid-19th century. [n. a. (2000). [ Anne (Dudley) Bradstreet] . "The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia". Retrieved Septermber 1, 2006.] Bradstreet's work was deeply influenced by poet Guillaume du Bartas, who was favored by 17th-century readers.

Despite the traditional attitude toward women of the time, she clearly valued knowledge and intellect; she was a free thinker and some consider her an early feminist. In 1647 Bradstreet's brother-in-law, Rev. John Woodbridge, sailed to England, carrying her manuscript of poetry without her knowledge. Anne's first work was published in London as "The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up into America, by a Gentlewoman in such Parts". [Cite book
publisher = Oxford University Press
isbn = 9780195014402
last = White
first = Elizabeth
title = Anne Bradstreet, "the Tenth Muse."
location = New York
date = 1971
page = 255-6

The purpose of the publication appears to have been an attempt by devout Puritan men ("i.e." Thomas Dudley, Simon Bradstreet, John Woodbridge) to show that a godly and educated woman could elevate the position held by a wife and mother, without necessarily placing her in competition with men.

In 1678 her self-revised "Several Poems Compiled with Great Variety of Wit and Learning" was posthumously published in America, and included one of her most famous poems, "". [Ellis, J. H. (1867). "The Works of Anne Bradstreet in Prose and Verse".]


Descendants of Simon Bradstreet and Anne, daughter of Thomas Dudley:
*Herbert Hoover [ William Addams Reitwiesner Genealogical Services] .] [ New England Ancestors] .]
*Wendell Phillips
*Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
*Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
*William Ellery Channing
*Richard Henry Dana, Sr.
*Richard Henry Dana, Jr.
*Elisha Williams
*David Souter
*John LithgowFact|date=April 2008


*"In Honour of that High and Mighty Princess, Queen Elizabeth"
*"In Reference to her Children", 23 June 1659
*"The Flesh and the Spirit"
*"The Four Ages of Man"
*"To Her Father with Some Verses"
*"Upon a Fit of Sickness," Anno 1632 Aetatis Suae, 19
*"Upon Some Distemper of Body"


External links

* [ Several Poems of Ann Bradstreet] A Celebration of Women Writers
* [ Full Text Links] from the William Dean Howell Society
* [ Genealogical Record]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Anne Bradstreet — (* um 1612 in Northampton, England; † 16. September 1672 in Andover, Massachusetts) war die erste Dichterin englischer Sprache, deren Werke in den Kolonien der neuen Welt publiziert wurden. Leben und Werk Sie kam 1630 mit der Flotte John… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Anne Bradstreet — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Primera edición de los poemas de Bradstreet (1678) Anne Bradstreet (ca. 1612 – 16 de septiembre de 1672) fue la primera escritora y poeta estadounidense en publicar un libro. Bradstreet nació con el nombre de Anne… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Anne Bradstreet — (née vers 1612 à Northampton, Angleterre morte le 16 septembre 1672 à Andover, Massachusetts) fut la première femme écrivain et la première poétesse américaine dont les œuvres furent publiées. Elle est considérée comme le premier écrivain féminin …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Anne Bradstreet — noun poet in colonial America (born in England) (1612 1672) • Syn: ↑Bradstreet, ↑Anne Dudley Bradstreet • Instance Hypernyms: ↑poet * * * Anne Bradstreet [Anne Bradstreet …   Useful english dictionary

  • Anne Bradstreet — ➡ Bradstreet * * * …   Universalium

  • Anne Bradstreet: Two Poems — ▪ Primary Source       Usually considered the first American poet, Anne Bradstreet arrived in Massachusetts Bay Colony with her husband, Simon, in 1630. For many years, she expressed her observations, thoughts, and emotions in poetry that was… …   Universalium

  • Bradstreet — Anne Bradstreet Anne Bradstreet (* um 1612 in Northampton, England; † 16. September 1672 in Andover, Massachusetts) war die erste Dichterin englischer Sprache, deren Werke publiziert wurden. Leben und Werk Sie kam 1630 mit der Flotte John… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Bradstreet — may refer to a number of individuals with this surname or whose names involve this one: * Anne Bradstreet, early American writer of Puritan prose and poetry * Jeff Bradstreet, American physician and founder of the Good News Doctor Foundation *… …   Wikipedia

  • Anne Dudley (disambiguation) — Anne Dudley may refer to:*Anne Dudley, born 1956, English composer and musician *Anne Dudley, Countess of Warwick, nee Anne Seymour, writer and daughter of Edward Seymour, Lord Protector of England *Anne Bradstreet, (1612 1672), nee Anne Dudley,… …   Wikipedia

  • Bradstreet, Anne — orig. Anne Dudley born с 1612, Northampton, Northhamptonshire?, Eng. died Sept. 16, 1672, Andover, Massachusetts Bay Colony English born American poet, one of the first poets of the American colonies. At age 18 she sailed from England with her… …   Universalium

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