When John Woodbridge, Bradstreet's brother-in-law, compiled her poetry for publication, he included a preface vouching for the book's authenticity and for his sister-in-law's character:
...the worse effect of his [the reader's] reading will be unbelief, which will make him question whether it be a woman's work, and ask, is it possible? If any do, take this as an answer from him that dares to avow it; it is the work of a woman, honored, and esteemed where she lives, for her gracious demeanor, her eminent parts, her pious conversation, her courteous disposition, her exact diligence in her place, and discreet managing of her family occasions, and more than so, these poems are the fruit but of some few hours, curtailed from her sleep and other refreshments.
Why so you think Woodbridge felt compelled to include this information as a preface Bradstreet's poetry? What does this preface reveal about women's status in Puritan society? What does it tell us about the kinds of anxieties Bradstreet probably felt with regard to her poetry and its publication?
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