Penn Library

CULTURAL READINGS: Colonization & Print in the Americas


Rowlandson, 1682
Special Collections, University of Pennsylvania Library
Mary Rowlandson,
A True History of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, a Minister's Wife in New-England.

London: Joseph Poole, 1682.

Mary Rowlandson spent three months as a captive of Indian tribes allied against the English during King Philip's War. Her account, the first "captivity narrative" published in America, proved enormously popular: four editions were issued in 1682 alone, and nineteen more by 1828. Rowlandson's perspective on her Indian captors wavers: while she describes them, generally, as "hell-hounds" sent from God to test her faith, she also reveals the humanity of Indians accompanying her and provides details of the hardships they, like her, underwent in the context of the war.

1773 edition Rowlandson, 1773

Colonial Fictions, Colonial Histories

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