Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor: Anne Bradstreet

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Anne Bradstreet, Several Poems Compiled with Great Variety of Wit and Learning . . . . [Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America] (Boston: John Foster, 1678). Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Anne Bradstreet
b. circa 1612, Northampton, England; d. 1672, Andover, Massachusetts

Anne Bradstreet, the first Englishwoman to publish poetry in the American colonies, set sail in 1630 in the first great Puritan migration, accompanied by her parents and husband. The family landed in Boston but moved frequently over the next decade, finally settling in Andover in 1640. Her father and husband played important roles in political and religious life, each serving several terms as governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony. Anne, meanwhile, raised eight children and began to write poetry. Her first collection, The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America, was published in London in 1650. In the Prologue, she forthrightly addressed prejudices against women's participation in the world of letters. Her major achievement, however, is a series of intimate poems about domestic life written during the 1650s and 1660s, remarkable for their personal revelation. Bradstreet died of consumption in 1672.

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