The Author to Her Book Summary and Analysis

Anne Bradstreet

Summary and Analysis

Anne Dudley Bradstreet was a Puritan writer who moved with her husband and family from England to Massachusetts in 1630. Bradstreet became known as one of the first prolific female poets from the American colonies. Her poem “The Author to Her Book,” published in 1650, expresses the disappointment of an author whose book has been published prematurely. Bradstreet composed this poem after her collection The Tenth Muse (1650) was published in the United Kingdom without her consent. Bradstreet’s “The Author to Her Book” not only shows her personal issues over the publishing of The Tenth Muse, but reaches out to writers everywhere who may also have felt their creative works were unready for public scrutiny.

“The Author to Her Book,” consists of twenty-four lines written in iambic pentameter. It is in the heroic couplet form and thus consists of rhymed couplets. The poem relies on a conceit, or an extended metaphor, in which the author’s book is her child. The conceit is supported by several sub-metaphors that elaborate upon the state of the child, or book.

  • An example of a sub-metaphor that the speaker employs is “I stretch thy joints to make thee even feet.” This is a metaphor for the...

(The entire section is 536 words.)