As part of the Christian Encounters book series Anne Bradstreet written by D.B. Kellogg was an interesting read. While I expected it to be a little more focused on her actual poetry I did enjoy the the fascinating walk through the life of the early pioneers of what was once known as New England.
Anne Bradstreet was a young Puritan women who traveled to New England in 1630 with her beloved husband and family. Her father had fostered a strong love of education and God in all his children from an early age. This love of learning and love of God was what sustained her during those difficult years as a pioneer of not one township but several. On the opening page Kellogg stated Bradstreets feeling of "in Truth, it is the absence or presence of God that makes Heaven or Hell." There seemed to be times when she most certainly would have found it difficult to distinguish between the two. Kellogg made note several times of the relationship Bradstreet had with God and her faith was firmly affixed to belief's as a Puritan women, mother, wife and poet.
While I found the history enjoyable it was the personal glimpse into the life of Anne Bradstreet that I most enjoyed. In the final chapter it refers to how, while on her deathbed, she addressed her "Dear Children" who had all grown and scattered in the world. She wanted to transcribe "the truth and set forth Gods glory, not hers." Bradstreet kept close to God and whenever a trial or affliction beset her she would look at her life and evaluated what was a miss in her fellowship with God and would recognise "Gods hand in all things" within her life.
The examples of poetry included in this book, while limited, were beautiful. As a women of her time it was highly improper for her to be anything other than a wife and mother. It was remarkable that her brother-in-law with or without Anne Bradstreet's knowledge, saw to it that these works were published. He did go to great pains while getting them published to preserve her Godly honor and pointed out that she wrote this poetry while never neglecting her God given duties as wife and mother. Today Anne Bradstreet is recognized as being the first American poet.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and have to a agree with the purpose of the Christian Encounters Collection in that "We learn through the lives of others. Their experiences, their trials, their adventures become our schools, our chapels, our playgrounds."
Disclaimer~ I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through the Booksneeze Program