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Bradstreet, Anne. (1612 - 1672).

L i f e

- colonist in New England, Massachusetts

- daughter of Thomas Dudley, wife of Simon Bradstreet

- thoroughly educated by her father and by diligent reading: Scriptures, Sir Walter Raleigh’s History of the World, poetry of Sir Philip Sidney, etc.

< religious controversy: her non-conformist Cambridge educated husband

< her tenuous health, as a child prey to rheumatic fever > dominant images in her poems concern the human body, illness, and mortality

- her husband’s often absence on business increased her burdens x but: astonishingly found time to write as long as to her death

W o r k

- as a young girl began writing poetry to please her father x later called poetry a ‘room of my own’

- captured the essence of life as a Puritan and as a woman under tough colonial conditions

S c h o l a r l y  P o e m s :

< the Greek concept of the 4 elements and the 4 humours

-  the world as composed of earth, air, fire, and water

- the human temperament as composed of warmth, cold, wet, and dry

- long meditative poems on the ages of man and the seasons

The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America (1650):

- published without her knowledge in London

- despite the printer’s errors the 1st published volume of poetry written by a New England colonist

P e r s o n a l  P o e m s :

- took greatest pride in the former x but: her literary achievement both the latter


- on the tension between the individual’s wishes and desires x the need to submit to God’s will

D o m e s t i c  P o e m s :

- intimate poems from the point of view of a mother and wife concerned for family and home

- poems on the pleasure in everyday life

- elegies on the death of her grandchildren

“As Weary Pilgrim”

“Before the Birth of One of Her Children”

“The Flesh and the Spirit”

“The Prologue”

“To Her Father with Some Verses”

“To My Dear and Loving Husband”


(Picture: Wikimedia Commons).

  • Author

    Born Anne Dudley. Married Anne Bradstreet. (1612 - 1672). American colonist.
  • Work

    Poet. Author of the first volume of poetry published by a New England colonist.
  • Genres

    Early American poetry. Devotional poems. Philosophical poems. Personal poems.


Baym, Nina, ed. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. New York: W. W. Norton, 1995.

Bercovitch, Sacvan, ed. The Cambridge History of American  Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.

Cunliffe, Marcus. The Literature of the United States. London: Penguin, 1991.

Lauter, Paul, ed. The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Lexington: D. C. Heath, 1994.

McQuade, Donald, gen.ed. The Harper American Literature. New York: Harper & Collins, 1996.

Ruland, Richard, Malcolm Bradbury. Od  puritanismu k postmodernismu. Praha: Mladá fronta, 1997.

Vančura, Zdeněk, ed. Slovník spisovatelů: Spojené státy americké. Praha: Odeon, 1979.


"If ever two were one, then surely we. / If ever man were loved by wife, then thee; / If ever wife was happy in a man, / Compare with me ye women if you can".

From "To My Dear and Loving Husband".


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