1878 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Anne Bradstreet

Moses Coit Tyler, in History of American Literature (1878) 1:280.



Whatever work this writer wrought, whether good or bad, she wrought in the midst of circumstances that did not altogether help her, but hindered her rather. She was the laborious wife of a New England farmer, the mother of eight children, and herself from childhood of a delicate constitution. The most of her poems were produced between 1630 and 1642, that is, before she was thirty years old; and during these years, she had neither leisure, nor elegant surroundings, nor freedom from anxious thoughts, nor even abounding health. Somehow, during her busy life-time, she contrived to put upon record compositions numerous enough to fill a royal octavo volume of four hundred pages, — compositions which entice and reward our reading of them, two hundred years after she lived.