Anne Bradstreet: The Heretical Poet

Greg Saxon
The purpose of this research is to discuss heretical elements in
the poetry of Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672). This is not to imply that
Bradstreet was a heretic in the sense that American religious reformer Anne
Hutchinson was. Hutchinson (1591-1643) emigrated to Boston in 1634 and
preached a doctrine of salvation through intuitive apprehension of grace
rather than by works, and attacked the rigid moral and legal codes of New
England Puritanism. Anne Bradstreet accepted the tenets of Puritanism and
was a very religious person. Anti-Puritan themes are, however, to be found
in her poetry in terms of her religious doubts, her expression of personal
emotions and thoughts, and her ...

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in that she did not dissent
from accepted beliefs and doctrine. She was a woman of the 17th Century
and lived in a male dominated, intensely religious society. She lived
within the limitations not only of the beliefs and standards of her society,
but of her sex. A woman's place was definitely in the home in Colonial
America. The experiences of women were considered narrow and trivial in
comparison with men's.
Puritanism was more than a religious belief; it was a way of life.
"In the dozen years before 1640, some 15,000 Englishmen crossed the
Atlantic in order to establish a 'Holy Commonwealth' in which that way of
life could flourish"(Hall 1).
The Puritans were a party in the Church of England that arose in
Elizabeth's reign with the purpose of carrying out the Protestant
reformation, and to base the Church of England on the foundation of the
scriptures. Aside from a literal belief in the Bible, Puritans wholly
accepted the doctrines of John Calvin and his stern ...

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manifestations of intellectual life in
the 17th Century, was dominated by religion. Early New England verse was
religious both in motive and expression, and for the most part was
didactic(Morison 216-217).
Anne Bradstreet was one of the two poets of early New England
(Michael Wigglesworth was the other) whose poetry has lasted.
Bradstreet was born in Northamptom, England. Her father Thomas
Dudley was steward of the estate of the Earl of Lincoln and it is presumed
that she had access to the large Library there, and used it. Unlike most
young women, Anne Bradstreet was well educated. At age 16 she married
Simon Bradstreet, a graduate of Emmanuel College, Cambridge and steward of
the ...

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Anne Bradstreet: The Heretical Poet. (2005, December 2). Retrieved October 22, 2018, from
"Anne Bradstreet: The Heretical Poet.", 2 Dec. 2005. Web. 22 Oct. 2018. <>
"Anne Bradstreet: The Heretical Poet." December 2, 2005. Accessed October 22, 2018.
"Anne Bradstreet: The Heretical Poet." December 2, 2005. Accessed October 22, 2018.
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Added: 12/2/2005 03:09:01 AM
Category: Biographies
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2104
Pages: 8

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