Books: Benevolent Phantom

THE WORKS OF ANNE BRADSTREET edited by Jeannine Hensley. 320 pages. Harvard. $5.95.

The Massachusetts Bay Colony was hardly the place to look for a poet. It was an offshoot of England's Puritan century—righteous, suspicious, humorless and stern. The most trivial event seemed like a personal message from God to be read as a rebuke or reward.

Yet America's first poet is to be found among the Puritan settlers. She was Anne Bradstreet, a high-spirited girl from a wealthy family, whose work is being published as part of a Harvard University Press series on American cultural history.

Tenth Muse. Anne Bradstreet was 18 when...

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