Friday, August 27, 2010

Anne Bradstreet (review)

As an English major, I have read my fair share of Anne Bradstreet poems. Much of what you know about her (if you learned about her in school) is true: she was a Puritan woman who lived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. She dearly loved her husband, was a sickly lady, and had a slew of children.

 I received a copy of "Anne Bradstreet" by D.B. Kellogg through Book Sneeze to review. Here is what the publisher had to say about this book:

Christian Encounters, a series of biographies from Thomas Nelson Publishers, highlights important lives from all ages and areas of the Church. Some are familiar faces. Others are unexpected guests. But all, through their relationships, struggles, prayers, and desires, uniquely illuminate our shared experience
Anne Bradstreet is recognized as one of the most important figures in the history of American literature, yet the majority of her poetry remained private until after her death. As a Puritan wife and mother, Anne knew that sharing her views and opinions with others was considered a sin, but she clearly valued knowledge and intellect, and was a free thinker. Bradstreet's work serves as a document of the struggles and hardships of colonial life and is a testament to the plight of the women of the age. Her poetry, filled with the love she had for God, her husband, and her eight children, showcased her intense devotion to being a good wife, mother, and Christian.

I will be honest that there was not a lot that I learned specifically about her that I didn't already know. However, I obviously took my fair share of literature classes in college, so what I know may not be common knowledge of her.

My interest in this book was mainly in the Puritan lifestyle and what life was like during those early colonial times. I did not know that prior to the Puritans coming over, that a team had come over to build houses (although they did not complete that mission entirely). I did not realize despite the Puritans coming to America to flee from religious persecution, that they themselves persecuted Quakers and Anabaptists (how that makes sense, I'll never know).

I highly recommend this book for those who wish to know more about this first American woman poet or those interested in this time period. If you already have a good knowledge of Bradstreet and her poetry, you will find that much of that knowledge is reiterated in this book. However, you can always learn a thing or two.

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