Who Were Some Famous Puritan Writers?

John Milton, Anne Bradstreet, Cotton Mather and William Bradford were famous Puritan writers. John Milton was a 17th-century poet most known for the epic work “Paradise Lost.” He also published pamphlets to promote his controversial political views, including the belief that the Church of England should be abolished. Milton advocated for tolerance, rather than state-mandated religion, and wrote works criticizing the tyrannical rule of King Charles I.

Anne Bradstreet was an English poet and prose writer who migrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony with her family. One of her most famous works, “The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America,” was released in England in 1650 after her brother-in-law secretly had it published. Bradstreet’s poems often explored her spiritual beliefs and issues of domestic life.

Cotton Mather was a Puritan minister from New England who wrote biographies, historical accounts, almanacs, pamphlets and many other prose works, including “Pillars of Salt,” “Magnalia Christi Americana” and “The Biblia Americana.” Mather was a prominent figure during the Salem witch trials and composed a letter influencing courts to accept accounts of spectral sightings as evidence.

William Bradford was an Englishman who helped found the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts in 1620 and served as its governor for 31 years. His two-volume work “Of Plymouth Plantation” offers a detailed account of expanding the early New England settlement. Bradford was one of the signers of the Mayflower Compact and was involved in drafting the legal code for the Plymouth Colony.