Anne Bradstreet

27 Nov

This artifact is the title page to a book of poetry by Anne Bradstreet. It was published in 1758, which is many years after her  death, in Boston, Massachusetts. The subtitle “Compiled with Great Variety of Wit and Learning” and the lack of a named author reveal a lot about the time in which it was published. Instead of naming the author, the title page simply states “a Gentlewoman in New England.” Women were rarely educated during Anne Bradstreet’s time, the seventeenth century, and were certainly not well respected as authors. The subtitle is significant because it seems as though it is included in order to justify the book of poetry bring written by a woman. Further, the subtitle stating “full of delight” seems like another attempt to convince others to read the poetry. It is not only Bradstreet’s title page that justifies her authorship as a female, however. Even her poetry, such as “An Author to Her Book” attempts to lessen criticism  it will receive because she is a woman. Anne Bradstreet is a “Desperate Housewife” because she is not able to simply be an author, she must be diminished as a gentlewoman author.

Source: Early American Imprints, Series I: 1639-1800. no. 8091

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