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The day after Christmas in 1811, the state of Virginia lost its governor and almost one hundred citizens in a devastating nighttime fire that consumed a playhouse and transformed Richmond forever. The tragic Richmond Theater fire would become its generation’s defining disaster. In “The Richmond Theater Fire,” the first book about the event and its aftermath, Meredith Henne Baker explores a forgotten catastrophe and its wide societal impact. The story comes alive through the accounts of actresses, ministers, slaves, and statesmen. Investigating private letters, diaries, and sermons, among other rare or unpublished documents, Baker reveals a rich and vital untold story from America’s past.