Anne Bradstreet was born in 1612 to Thomas and Dorothy Dudley, a dedicated Puritan couple in Lincolnshire, England. She married Simon Bradstreet in 1628, and two years later the young family sailed for Massachusetts Bay. Her father and her husband subsequently served as governors of the new colony, but her enduring fame was to rest on her poetry, which she wrote regularly and circulated in her family for their private enjoyment.
In 1647 the Reverend John Woodbridge, her brother-in-law, sailed for England with a manuscript of Anne's poetry, unbeknownst to her. While there, he arranged to have the book published under the title of The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America.
When the book was presented to her after publication, Anne was thoroughly embarrassed but also pleased. Eventually she owned up to the volume as her own "rambling brat." Subsequent generations have valued her gifts as a poet, and her poetry remains in print to this day.
Beyond Stateliest Marble is a look at the personal qualities of Anne Bradstreet, the vibrant poetry she created, and her contributions to the way of life of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
Even to those who know something of her, Anne Bradstreet remains an enigmatic figure. For one thing, there is no surviving portrait of her. To the modern mind she seems an odd combination—a dedicated Puritan and a gifted poet.
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