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[Bradstreet] Charlotte Gordon. MISTRESS BRADSTREET: The Untold Life of America's First Poet. VG/VG. Minor edgewear to unclipped jacket, which is in mylar. (Boston: Little Brown & Company. 2005). First Edition. Notes, bibliography, 352 pages.

~~~ From Kirkus Review: "Poet Gordon offers a thorough, occasionally whimsical, and hearteningly feminist take on the life of early Puritan pioneer and pundit Anne Bradstreet. The dutiful, extremely learned, favorite daughter of Puritan lawyer and steward Thomas Dudley of Lincolnshire, England, Anne Bradstreet was 18 when her entire family set out in 1630 to lead the Great Migration of Puritans into Massachusetts. Already married to Simon Bradstreet, a devoted, amiable assistant to her father, Anne was reluctant to leave the luxuries of England and did not immediately take to the punishing emigrant life in New England, where (once they survived the horrific trans-Atlantic crossing) many presently died of disease, cold, and malnutrition. But Dudley and his clan were on a godly mission to purge themselves of the corruption of the Old World, to separate from papist idolatry, and found the New Jerusalem-and they constantly moved to forge new Puritan strongholds, from newly founded Boston to Ipswich to Andover. In between bearing and caring for eight children, Anne turned her powerful intellect and encyclopedic knowledge to writing righteous poetry-an inadmissible and risky ambition for a woman in Puritan society, where the famous Anne Hutchinson herself had been drummed out for refusing to toe the theological line, as Gordon amply portrays. While the evidence depicts Bradstreet's relationship with her husband as passionate, Simon remains a mystery, as Anne developed intense intellectual friendships with men of her circle who encouraged her writing, such as the preacher Nathaniel Ward and her brother-in-law John Woodbridge, who would take her manuscript of poems to England and have them published as the instantbestseller The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America. Gordon, a Boston Univ. doctoral fellow, devotes careful attention to the roots of Puritanism and to portrayals of its major players, such as John Cotton; her own sensitivity as a poet renders rapturous readings of Bradstreet's writing. Lends exciting textual possibilities to the turmoil beneath Bradstreet's 'glowing breast.'"


[Dobson] Arner, Robert D., DOBSON'S ENCYLOPEDIA: The Publisher, Text & Publication of America's First Britannica, 1789-1803. NEW, hardcover with dust jacket; still in shrinkwrap. NEW, still in shrinkwrap. (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991).

~~~ "The only study of the most prominent American printer, publisher and bookseller between the years 1785 and 1822, and his most notable publications, a Hebrew Bible and the first Americanized edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. The work traces Dobson's important place in the intellectual and cultural history of the early United States and also provides a full picture of the marketing, editing, production and publication of the encyclopedia." 295 pages.


Elliot, Emory. CAMBRIDGE INTRODUCTION TO EARLY AMERICAN LITERATURE NEW copy. Trade paperback. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press , 2002). 200 pages.

~~~ Presenting a literary history of American writing (from 1492 to 1820) and a concise social and cultural history, Emory Elliott traces the impact of race, gender, and ethnic conflict on early American culture. He explores the centrality of American Puritanism in the formation of a distinctively American literature.


[Milton] Schulman, Lydia Dittler, PARADISE LOST, AND THE RISE OF THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC . Northeastern University Press , 1992. NEW copy. Hardcover with dust jacket, still in shrinkwrap. Notes, bibliography, index, 273 pages. Synopsis: "This book examines "how American readers understood and employed Milton's text before, during, and after the American Revolution. Contending that Milton's epic, which was written after the fall of the English Commonwealth, represented the author's 'reflections on the difficulties of creating and sustaining . . . governments that ultimately rest upon the virtue and self-discipline of their citizens', Schulman suggests that this embedded debate on republicanism made his poem a touchstone for secular politicians during the rise of the American republic." (American Literature). From Booknews: "Schulman argues that an important, overlooked key to uncovering the social and political subtext of Milton's (1608-2004) epic is its popularity and use in the early American republic. At the same time, she demonstrates that an examination of the American reception of Paradise Lost contributes to an understanding of the ideological origins of the American Revolution." Annotation. From The American Historical Review: "For Schulman, the real point is Milton's argument that republican liberty, based on an educated, virtuous citizenry, must meet the challenge of controlling narrow self-interest through enlightened reason. . . . If Schulman inevitably fails to prove her thesis 'definitively,' she succeeds admirably in suggesting the complexity of Milton's role in the still lively debate over the soul of the republic. Her book is a strong contribution to that debate."


[Milton] Stavely, Keith W. F., PURITAN LEGACIES: Paradise Lost and the New England Tradition, 1630-1890 . Cornell University Press, 1995. NEW copy. PAPERBACK. Notes, index, 312 pages. Stavely presents "Milton's Paradise Lost as a model of the tensions inherent in mid-17th-century English Puritanism and in New England Puritanism through 1890. He {seeks to} show how Milton's portrayal of Adam, Eve, and Satan represents persistent Puritan conflicts between hierarchy and egalitarian individual autonomy and between rationality and enthusiasm. {In an attempt} to illustrate his thesis, Stavely studies the career of 18th-century Westborough, Massachusetts pastor Rev. Ebenezer Parkman and 19th-century Marlborough, Massachusetts newspaper editor Charles F. Morse."


[Milton] Van Anglen, K.P., NEW ENGLAND MILTON: Literary Reception and Cultural Authority in the Early Republic . Pennsylvania State University Press , 1993. NEW copy. Hardcover with dust jacket, still in shrinkwrap. Notes, bibliography, index, 255 pages. "This is a study of interpretations of Milton by New England intellectuals. "Interpreting Milton to their advantage, Van Anglen argues, the New England elite used him in their formulations of consensualist positions that became key elements of the developing American cultural hegemony. At the same time, restive thinkers from Roger Williams to Walt Whitman read Milton's works and career as more averse, thereby endorsing a more romantic, rebellious, and democratic American spirit. After a . . . chapter surveying these conflicts and their consequences between 1620 and the 1780s, Van Anglen focuses upon the Unitarians and the transcendentalists in his remaining chapters. . . . {In} readings of {William Ellery} Channing's review of Milton's De Doctrina, Emerson's essay 'John Milton,' his poem 'Uriel,' and his 'Divinity School Address,' and Thoreau's A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers and Walden {Van Anglen aims to} demonstrate how each transcended the dualism and contradictions of cultural authority." (New England Quarterly). Currently in print at $59.


Shields, David (ed). AMERICAN POETRY: The Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. NEW copy, hardcover in dust jacket. (Library of America, 2007). 900 pages.

~~~ The poetry of early America is seen afresh in this groundbreaking new volume, which spans from the first years of English settlement in the New World to the death of George Washington. Gathering the work of more than 100 poets -- including many poems never previously anthologized and some published here for the first time -- it is the most comprehensive collection of its kind ever assembled.


Spengemann, William C. A NEW WORLD OF WORDS: Redefining Early American Literature. NEW copy, hardcover in dust jacket. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994). First Edition. Intertextual notes, extensive bibliography, index, 254 pages.

~~~ Early American literature has traditionally been defined as writings in English by future residents of the land that became the United States. Thanks to this definition, it has only a modest reputation: "early" has come to mean "less"—less American and less literary than American literature proper. In this book, William C. Spengemann redefines early American literature, calling it writings in English that reflect or have been influenced by the discovery, exploration, and settlement of the New World.
~~~ Spengemann argues that linguistic criteria should have precedence over national origin in determining the national literature to which a given work rightfully belongs, and from this perspective he examines a variety of works in new and provocative ways. He analyzes Milton's Paradise Lost as an American poem that reflects the impact of the discovery and settlement of America on seventeenth-century religious culture; traces the semantic development of the English word Columbus from its first written appearance in 1553 to its identification with the United States after 1780; and compares in detail Benjamin Franklin's autobiography, William Blake's "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell," and Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey, viewing them as comparable—and American—writings, all concerned with comprehending the displacement of the remembered Old World by an altogether new one.

~~~ Paperback in print at $29; hardcover OUT OF PRINT.


Taylor, Edward. THE POETICAL WORKS OF EDWARD TAYLOR. VG. Trade paperback. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 1966). Fourth Printing (1974). Extensive notes, bibliography, glossary, "Taylor's Library", "A Description of the Manuscript", 231 pages.

~~~ "This Puritan who came to America in 1668 to be ordained and live as pastor of the frontier village of Westfield, Massachusetts, until 1729 was a sacred poet of extraordinary ability in the tradition of John Donne and the Anglo-Catholic conceitists. There is no poet of Colonial times who can approach his excellence; there are no American poets of comparable stature until the 19th century."

This edition OUT OF PRINT.


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