Anne Bradstreet Biography
First American poet
Anne Dudley Bradstreet (1612 – 1672) was the first writer to be published in England’s North American colonies. Her book, The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America, was also published in London in 1650, making Anne the first female poet ever published in both England and the New World. She is the first Puritan writer in American Literature and notable for her large body of poetry and personal writings.
As the daughter of Thomas Dudley, a steward of the Earl of Lincoln, and Dorothy Yorke Dudley, a wealthy Puritan family from Northampton, England, Bradstreet was a well-educated woman for her time, being tutored in history, several languages and literature.Both Anne’s father and husband would later serve as governors of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
At 16, she became the wife of Simon Bradstreet, a public official in Massachusetts. Anne and Simon, along with Anne’s parents, emigrated to America as part of the Winthrop Fleet, a major migration of Puritans that took place in 1630. Anne became the mother of eight children.
Anne Bradstreet bio: a first-person narrative
Reenactor Susan Lenoe offers an interesting version of the Anne Bradstreet bio, sprinkled with excerpts from her poetry, in this 14-minute video.
Bradstreet wrote poetry in addition to her extensive duties as a wife and mother. Over the course of her life, she developed a uniquely personal style of poetry centered on her role as a mother, the sufferings of life, and her Puritan faith. Anne’s excellent education equipped her to write with authority about politics, history, medicine, and theology. Her personal library of books was said to have numbered over 9000, although many were destroyed when her home burned in 1666.
An overview of Anne Bradstreet’s life and work
Instructor Lance Eaton has provided a helpful 14-minute video biography.