Born: (20-03-)1612, Northampton (GB)
Died: 16-09-1672, Andover, Massachusetts Bay Colony (US)
Anne Bradstreet was born as Anne Dudley. It is not clear what the exact date of her birth is. It is assumed this was on March 20, 1612. She took the name Bradstreet, when she married Simon Bradstreet at the age of sixteen. Together with her husband and parents, Bradstreet immigrated to the United States – at that time a colony of Great Britain. They settled in the Winthrop Puritan Group in Ipswich, Massachusetts.
The family that Bradstreet started with her husband, would consist of eight children. She was able to write down her feelings, based on her strong religious beliefs. In 1650, her work was first published in Great Britain under the title The tenth muse, lately sprung up in America. This book was the only collection of her poems, that was published during her life. The second book was published after her death in 1672. The original edition was edited and some poems were added.
Her work was inspired by her deep religious beliefs. Most of her work was rediscovered in the nineteenth century, when the book Contemplations was published. Just like the first publication, this work was also greatly inspired by the sixteenth century French poet Guillaume du Bartas.
Today, the work she wrote during her last years is more appreciated as it is less derivative and sometimes very personal.
One of the poems that we remember Bradstreet by, is the poem Here follow some verses upon the burning of our house, July 10, 1666. This is a poem written about the events that took place on July 10, 1666. The house she lived in burned down, and she lost her daughter Dorothy during this fire. All of their belongings were lost and for a short period, the family became homeless.
Maybe because the death of her daughter and the sudden death of a son, she suffered health issues. The events had a great impact on her well-being. Still, she believed her daughter would be in a better place, after this fire.
Bradstreet died on September 16, 1672 at the age of sixty years. She was probably buried in Salem (Massachusetts, US), next to her husband. It is not quite clear if this is the exact location of her grave.