Rowlandson and her family emigrated from England around 1650 and settled in Massachusetts, where she met and married Rev. Joseph Rowlandson. During King Philip’s War, Rowlandson was captured by Native Americans and held for 11 weeks before being ransomed and returned to her family.
An interesting genre of American writing, the captivity narrative was the yellow literature of its day. These stories, beginning from the 17th century, typically feature white, women of European descent who are kidnapped in violence and held captive by Native Americans. Rowlandson’s account of her capture is a classic example of the genre.