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America’s first (woman) poet

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1 America’s first (woman) poet
Anne Bradstreet America’s first (woman) poet

2 Anne Bradstreet Born Anne Dudley in 1612
Father was a steward for the Earl of Lincoln, and a Puritan leader. She did not attend school, but she did have private tutors and access to her father’s library. Her father also played an active role in teaching her, helping her pursue things about which she was curious. For a woman in that time period, she was very well educated.

3 Anne Bradstreet At 16, she married Simon Bradstreet.
1630, she sailed to America with her family as part of the “great migration” of Puritans. Her father served as Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony off an on from 1634 to 1650. Her husband also was governor from

4 Anne Bradstreet Her trip aboard the Arbella was a rough one, bad weather and disease caused a number of passengers to die. She was unprepared for this kind of hardship and tragedy. Living conditions in Massachusetts were equally harsh and challenging.

5 Anne Bradstreet Her brother, Rev. John Woodbridge, carried a collection of some of her poems with him back to England without her knowledge – he had copied them when she wasn’t looking. He published this collection in 1650 without her approval in an attempt 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. She added poems, and edited a second edition, making her also one of the world’s first feminist authors.

6 Anne Bradstreet She suffered a number of personal hardships and illnesses in her life: Smallpox – twice. Paralysis of the joints – arthritis? Her sister was rejected by her husband and excommunicated from the church. Her house burned down, costing her family all of its worldly possessions. Dorothy, her daughter, died. Tuberculosis – eventually killed her in 1672.

7 Anne Bradstreet Although she survived many difficulties, they caused her to turn inward, and toward religion, to cope. She wrote poetry mostly when her husband was absent on business. She typically wrote using religious, historical, and domestic themes. Her poems reflect a mixture of intellect, strength, and a woman comfortable with her lower position in Puritan society. Some of her final poems expressed her belief in the worth and ability of women, a topic that was very controversial in her culture.

8 Anne Bradstreet In 1678 her self-revised book Several Poems Compiled with Great Variety of Wit and Learning was posthumously published in America, including one of her most famous poems, "To My Dear and Loving Husband."

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