資料彙整   /   作家  /  Mary  Rowlandson  瑪莉•羅蘭森
Mary  Rowlandson
瑪莉•羅蘭森
圖片來源:Cover of first edition, showing Mary shooting a musket
主要文類:Others
資料提供者:Margarette Connor; Ron Tranquilla; Kate Liu
關鍵字詞:Early American Women Writers: Voices in the Wilderness;Early American Literature;American Literature Survey I

Mary Rowlandson

Provider : Margarette Connor

 
Earliest woman prose writer of note is Mary Rowlandson, a minister's wife who gives a clear, moving account of her 11-week captivity by Indians during an Indian massacre in 1676.
She only wrote the one work, The Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, but it was a very important work in terms of popularity. It was an early best seller. It also helped fan anti-Native American sentiment.

  • Born in England. With her parents John and Joan White, she sailed for Salem in 1639
  • Joseph Rowlandson became a minister in 1654 and two years later he and Mary were married
  • They had a child, Mary, who lived for three years; their other children were Joseph, Mary, Sarah. At the time of their capture, the children were 14, 10, and 6.
  • In 1675 Joseph Rowlandson went to Boston to beg for help from the Massachusetts General Assembly, during which period Mary was captured. After she was freed by the Native Americans, the couple lived in Boston and then moved in 1677 to Wethersfield, Connecticut.

    While a prisoner, Mary Rowlandson travelled some 150 miles, and met with King Philip/Metacomet himself, sachem of the Wampanoags.
    Rowlandson has a clear Puritan agenda when she's writing. As she writes at the beginning of her narrative:
    "The sovereignty and goodness of GOD, together with the faithfulness of his promises displayed, being a narrative of the captivity and restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, commended by her, to all that desires to know the Lord's doings to, and dealings with her."
    What is disturbing for modern readers is way the Indians go back and forth between being human in her eyes. The contrast between how she is so devastated when her child dies but completely unmoved when the Indian children die, and cannot fathom why the Indian mothers are so angry and easily riled after their children's funerals can be shocking. But with all her historical prejudices, it is still an important document and an important piece of writing.
  •    

    Copyright ©2009 國科會人文學中心 All Rights Reserved.