Rethinking authorial reluctance in the paratexts to Anne Bradstreet’s poetry
in Early modern women and the poem
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This chapter reconsiders Anne Bradstreet's famous pronouncements of authorial reluctance in her two seventeenth century printed publications: The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America and Several Poems. It considers examples of the paratextual apparatus, the dedicatory epistles, commendatory verses and prefatory poems that accompanied her entry into the public arena of print. The 1650 Tenth Muse contains a number prefatory materials assembled to establish Bradstreet's credentials in various social, political and literary networks. Bradstreet's 'The author to her book' alludes in its first line to the famous sonnet sequence of the previous century's chief Protestant poet, Sir Philip Sidney's Astrophil and Stella. In the 1678 Several Poems, 'The author to her book' is placed after poems included in the 1650 Tenth Muse and precedes 'Several other Poems made by the Author upon diverse occasions'.

Editor: Susan Wiseman

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