Tag Archives: 17th Century women

Anne Bradstreet – Poet and Feminist

“I am obnoxious to each carping tongue/ That says my hand a needle better fits.”

These are the word of Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672), from the Prologue to her first collection of poems, published in London in 1650. With its publication, Anne became the first published woman poet writing in the English language. Also, as she had emigrated to America with her family at the age of eighteen, she became America’s first published poet, of either gender. Anne correctly foresaw that many would argue that poetry was not a fit occupation for a woman, and had prepared herself in advance to stand up to the critics. Continue reading Anne Bradstreet – Poet and Feminist

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Aphra Behn

Aphra Behn (1640?-1689) was a 17th-century writer who challenged expectations of women at the time by writing plays, poetry and novels for profit.  Her most famous texts include The Rover, Oroonoko, and The Fair Jilt.   Some of her writing was notorious for its sexual themes, but she also got into trouble for writing about politics, a risk for any writer during this period but particularly for a woman.  Behn’s prose writing is seen as playing an important part in the development of the novel.

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