Anne Bradstreet  (1612-1672)

·         1612: Born Anne Dudley Bradstreet in Northampton, England. Well educated in history, languages and literature.

·         1628: Marries Simon Bradstreet (later governor of Massachusetts Bay)

·         1630: with husband and family, boards the Arabella with other puritans, led by John Winthrop.

·         14 June 1630: lands in Salem, Massachusetts. Continues moving to difference parts of MA.

·         1647: brother-in-law John Woodbridge takes her work to England without her knowledge, publishing it as The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America, by a Gentlewoman of those Parts.

·         16 September 1672: Anne dies at the age of 60 after giving birth to 8 children.

·         1678: Several Poems Compiled with Great Variety of Wit and Learning published posthumously in America


“The Author to Her Book” (1678)

·         Written in reaction to her book published without her knowledge.

·         The persona explains that her book was taken to be published when it was not ready for that yet, but that she tried her best to edit it and make it fit for a second publication.

·         Structure: rhyming couplets (each 2 lines rhyme at the end) in iambic pentameter (a meter of 10 syllables of unstressed/stressed line)

·         Main figure of speech is conceit (extended metaphor): book compared to a child.

·         Domestic subject matter not typical of an age where most writers are men.

·         Description of the author/mother:

Of feeble brain – line 1

Embarrassed at book/child being filled with errors – lines 6-7

Loving the book/child in spite of its flaws – line 11

Had limited resources to fix the book/child – line 16

Poor author/mother (either literary or in terms of poetic knowledge) – line 23

·         Personification of book into child found in the following words:

ill-formed offspring – line 1

rambling brat (in print) – line 8

I washed thy face – line 13

even feet – line 15

in better dress – 17