March 15th Library of Virginia Event Posted!

The Library of Virginia has recently posted the details about my book talk on Thursday, March 15, 2012. There will be tours of nearby Monumental Church (the location of the Theater fire and the site of a memorial to the victims) before and after the 12pm book talk. I think that’s such a creative idea, to be able to experience the geography and the drama of the site as well as hear the story of the fire. See below (or click on the link above) for more information.


Book Talk at the Library of Virginia The Richmond Theater Fire
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Time: Noon–1:00 PM,  Free parking accessible from 8th and 9th streets

The Richmond Theater Fire: Early America’s First Great Disaster is the award-winning account of a devastating Virginia fire in 1811. The Richmond Theater fire was the deadliest urban disaster in the early years of the United States. It stunned the nation and became an important catalyst for religious and cultural transformation in the early republic. After six years of researching unpublished records, diaries, and letters, author Meredith Henne Baker has written the first full-length book about the fire and its impact on life in the nineteenth century. This story of transformation comes alive through the accounts of the slaves, debutantes, ministers, and statesmen who were the fire’s victims and survivors. A book signing will follow the talk.

Historic Richmond Foundation will offer special tours of Monumental Church—site of the fire—before and after the book talk, at 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM.  Reservations are required for tours and space is limited. No reservations needed for the book talk at noon. Tours last approximately 45 minutes and attendees should park under the library building and meet in the main lobby of the Library. The tours will explore the historic structure of Monumental Church as well as the crypt below where the victims of the theater fire are buried. To reserve your space for the tour call 804-692-3999.

More information on the book and author Meredith Henne Baker available at