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Anne Bradstreet: The Life and Legacy of the Famous Puritan Poet in the American Colonies

Narrated by: Bill Hare
Length: 1 hr and 17 mins
3 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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"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, "Upon the Burning of Our House July 10th, 1666"

One of the greatest dangers of any generation is to see those who came before as one-dimensional characters with little to nothing to offer in the way of understanding of modern life. For instance, it is assumed by many that the Puritans who founded Massachusetts were a grim, dour lot devoted to spreading their strict, religious views across society. To some extent, this is true, but of course, not all Puritans were the same; there were outliers who made their own way within their culture and yet remained true to their own sense of self.

Anne Bradstreet and her husband, Simon, were two of these people. Anne Bradstreet was born into an unusual family that, in the early years of the 17th century, believed in educating daughters as well as sons. She then moved to the American wilderness as a young bride and proceeded to produce children and poetry at nearly equal speed in the years that followed. Historian Theodore Stanton observed, "The most of her poems were produced between 1630 and 1642, that is, before she was thirty years old; and during these years she had neither leisure, nor elegant surroundings, nor freedom from anxious thoughts, nor even abounding health. Somehow, during her busy lifetime, she contrived to put upon record compositions numerous enough to fill a royal octavo volume of 400 pages, - compositions which entice and reward our reading of them, two hundred years after she lived."

Anne also had the dubious honor of being the daughter of one governor of Massachusetts colony, the wife of another, and the sister of a third. This repeatedly put her in a unique position to shape, no matter how subtly, the culture of the early colony, and New England’s early openness to at least basic education stems in part from her influence. On top of all this, she was the first published poet from the North American colonies, beating out the men who would follow her by a number of years.

Anne Bradstreet: The Life and Legacy of the Famous Puritan Poet in the American Colonies examines Bradstreet’s influential work. You will learn about Anne Bradstreet like never before.

©2018 Charles River Editors (P)2018 Charles River Editors

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A perfect introduction into a poet

A good book as an introduction into the history of Anne Bradstreet. It's very short, especially if you're listening to the audio book. It does not go into the complexities of her life too much, but does provide a very well-thought-out introduction into how her life shaped her writing.