Page:Anne Bradstreet and her time.djvu/11

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INTRODUCTION.




Grave doubts at times arise in the critical mind as to whether America has had any famous women. We are reproached with the fact, that in spite of some two hundred years of existence, we have, as yet, developed no genius in any degree comparable to that of George Eliot and George Sand in the present, or a dozen other as familiar names of the past. One at least of our prominent literary journals has formulated this reproach, and is even sceptical as to the probability of any future of this nature for American women.

What the conditions have been which hindered and hampered such development, will find full place in the story of the one woman who, in the midst of obstacles that might easily have daunted a far stouter soul, spoke such words as her limitations allowed. Anne Bradstreet, as a name standing alone, and represented only by a volume of moral reflections and the often stilted and unnatural verse

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