As the author acknowledges at the start, Anna Cora Mowatt was ""not the greatest actress of her day"" but she did influence social attitudes toward the theatre and she is a person who will interest teenage girls. She belonged to one of the most esteemed, socially prominent families in New York, and although she enjoyed participating in home theatricals, it was a time when actresses were not considered respectable and the theatre was a slightly immoral taste. Her introduction to the stage began when she was twenty-one and she decided to help her husband with his financial problems by giving public poetry readings, a new art which she made very popular. In 1845 she wrote a very successful play, the first American social satire and the first play to turn ""the educated and respectable"" into theatre-goers. Shortly after it opened, agreed to make a stage appearance--as a leading lady, of course, because of her social position--and she was good enough to be recognized as a star both in America and abroad. This biography gives a detailed view of her life from her teens until her death and the writing indicates close attention to Mrs. Mowatt's autobiography and family documents. It also offers a close scrutiny of nineteenth century theatre in America.