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Official Website of Award-Winning Author

The Richmond Theater Fire

Early America's First Great Disaster
Winner of Two National Writing Awards
Nominated for the Library of Virginia Literary Award

Now in Paperback! 
The Richmond Theater Fire Virginia Meredith Henne Baker LSU Press

As a graduate student, Meredith Henne Baker studied American History and Museum Studies at the College of William and Mary, and it was there she uncovered the story of this pivotal Virginia event.  She currently writes from Richmond, where she lives with her family. The Richmond Theater Fire, winner of the 2012 Jules and Frances F. Landry Award and the 2012 Phi Alpha Theta Best First Book Award, is her first book. She has been a featured speaker on Virginia history for events with the Historic Richmond Foundation, the Smithsonian, the Virginia Forum, Wilton House, the Library of Virginia, the Virginia Museum of History and Culture, and others and she is a 2021 Virginia Humanities Fellow with a research residency at the Library of Virginia. Hear her Banner Lecture at the VMHC here.


Resources on Virginia History

The Richmond Theater Fire Book

Meredith's Published Articles

My Books

“The Richmond Theater Fire is totally engrossing, a real page turner. Baker ably depicts the vibrancy of social and cultural life in early Richmond, and captures the horror, chaos, and shock of this terrible conflagration. She does a marvelous job of unearthing and marshaling primary sources to recreate for us the most detailed and heartbreaking account of this disaster that I have ever read.”

Kathryn Fuller-Seeley

author of Celebrate Richmond Theater

Richmond THeater Fire Documentary

In 2013, Scene Clearly Films produced this excellent short documentary about the 1811 fire featuring several Virginia historians (I was honored to be included!). Click play for an overview of the disaster and how it changed Richmond forever.

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