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Anne Bradstreet

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Description

Christian Encounters, a series of biographies from Thomas Nelson Publishers, highlights important lives from all ages and areas of the Church. Some are familiar faces. Others are unexpected guests. But all, through their relationships, struggles, prayers, and desires, uniquely illuminate our shared experience

When she arrived in the New World at eighteen, Anne Bradstreet was a reluctant passenger:

her old, comfortable lifestyle in England was quickly dashed against the rocks of the Massachusetts

Bay. While the wilderness of America and the drama of establishing the Massachusetts Bay Colony at times overwhelmed her, she always took refuge in the belief that it was God’s plan.  Anne respected the Puritan teachings and followed them her entire life, always searching for God’s hand in everything around her. But she also was inspired by a strong female leader of the day, Queen Elizabeth, and

this influence taught Anne to push herself beyond the day’s limitations. She managed her home, educated her children, encouraged her husband, and sought her Lord—all with a poet’s heart.

 

Reading Guides

Reading Group Guide

  1. Anne Bradstreet had two loving parents, but her father was clearly her mentor in her education and love of reading. Her poems reflect her knowledge of topics from science to the Bible, from history to philosophy. Who was a mentor to you in your youth, and how did that person encourage you? How does that person continue to mentor you?  
  2. Bradstreet was a reluctant immigrant to the New World, but she accepted her new life as a part of God's way for her. From her place in that New World she entered the history books. Can you name others who have been reluctant to follow a new path before them, but accepted it as God's way for them, and they too eventually entered the history books?  
  3. Before you read Bradstreet's biography, what was your understanding of Puritans and Puritanism? Did that understanding change after reading this book? If so, how and why?  
  4. How did her Puritanism influence Bradstreet's poetry?  
  5. Queen Elizabeth I was a true heroine to Bradstreet, and she wrote more than once about this just and good queen. What other characteristics did she attribute to this queen? Is there a hero or heroine in your life? What are the admirable characteristics of that person?  
  6. Bradstreet was determined to write poetry, even on the edge of the wilderness of New England. You may not be on the edge of a physical wilderness, as Bradstreet was, but you may be in the midst of a "wilderness experience." What can you learn from Bradstreet about how to overcome such an experience and accomplish something that you are determined to do?  
  7. Bradstreet's most widely known poem is "Contemplations." Sitting beside a river, she heard the birds singing and crickets chirping, and she reveled in the beauty around her. In that peaceful setting what conclusions did she reach about human nature and her Creator? In this noisy world of ours, is there a quiet place to which you can retreat to contemplate your inner world and your Creator?  
  8. What was Bradstreet's view of women and their place in the world? How does that compare to a twenty-first-century view?  
  9. Compare the community's treatment of the two Annes: Anne Bradstreet and Anne Hutchinson. What does this comparison reveal about the community and the two women?  
  10. Bradstreet's deep, abiding love of her husband and children is apparent in her poetry. Were there words or phrases in those poems that grabbed your attention? Can you think of other poets or writers who have expressed such a love of family members in their works?  
  11. After the 1666 fire that burned her home and everything in it, including revisions of her work, how did Bradstreet deal with the losses?  
  12. Because of serious illnesses throughout her lifetime, death was a recurring theme in Bradstreet's poetry. How did she regard death, and what does that indicate about her and her faith? How would you explain her faith to someone who was unfamiliar with Bradstreet?

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Anne Bradstreet, D.B. Kellogg
  • Anne Bradstreet, D.B. Kellogg

Details

Christian Encounters, a series of biographies from Thomas Nelson Publishers, highlights important lives from all ages and areas of the Church. Some are familiar faces. Others are unexpected guests. But all, through their relationships, struggles, prayers, and desires, uniquely illuminate our shared experience

When she arrived in the New World at eighteen, Anne Bradstreet was a reluctant passenger:

her old, comfortable lifestyle in England was quickly dashed against the rocks of the Massachusetts

Bay. While the wilderness of America and the drama of establishing the Massachusetts Bay Colony at times overwhelmed her, she always took refuge in the belief that it was God’s plan.  Anne respected the Puritan teachings and followed them her entire life, always searching for God’s hand in everything around her. But she also was inspired by a strong female leader of the day, Queen Elizabeth, and

this influence taught Anne to push herself beyond the day’s limitations. She managed her home, educated her children, encouraged her husband, and sought her Lord—all with a poet’s heart.

 

More Information

Length 192 Pages
Series Christian Encounters Series
Publication Date August 17, 2010
Company
  • Thomas Nelson
ISBN-10 1595551093
ISBN-13 9781595551092
Height 7"
Width 4.9"