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Anne Bradstreet

Anne Bradstreet is one of the most important figures in the history of American Literature. She is considered by many to be the first American poet, and although her first collection of poems, "The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America, By a Gentlewoman of Those Parts", doesn`t contain any of her best known poems, it was the first book written by a woman to be published in the United States.

She was born in Northampton, England, in 1612, daughter of Thomas Dudley and Dorothy Yorke. At the age of 16, Anne married Simon Bradstreet, a 25-year-old assistant in the Massachusetts Bay Company and the son of a Puritan minister, who had been in the care of the Dudleys since the death of his father.

Anne and her family emigrated to America in 1630 aboard the Arabella, one of the first ships to bring Puritans to New England in hopes of setting up plantation colonies. Anne was ill prepared for such rigorous travel, and would find the journey very difficult.

After landing, Anne and her family moved more than once, eventually arriving in Cambridge. Both her husband and her father were involved in the establishment of Harvard College, and two of her sons graduated from the college.

The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up In America was published in London as well as New England and was well received in each. Her home burned in 1666, leaving her with few possessions. She died in 1672.