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AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AN ACTRESS;
Eight years on the Stage.
WITH A FINE PORTRAIT OF THE AUTHOR.
TICKNOR & FIELDS
Are the publishers of the above work, which has proved one of the most popular books ever printed in America. All over the country it has received the most marked attention, and elicited universal commendation,
FROM THE PREFACE.
If one struggling sister in the great human family, while listening to the history of my life, gain courage to meet and brave severest trials ; if she learn to look upon them as blessings in disguise ; if she be strengthened in the performance of “ daily duties,” however “ hardly paid ;
s if she be inspired with faith in the power imparted to a strong will, whose end is good — then I am amply rewarded for my labor.
ANNA CORA MOWATT.
OPINIONS OF THE PRESS.
We have read this book through with more than the interest of a romance. The fair authoress herself is one of the rarest of heroines. Her eight years upon the stage furnish a volume of the most entertaining and instructive experience. But this is not all, -not the most interesting portion of her remarkable book. She begins with her infancy, and introduces us to the bright little butterfly girl sporting among the flowers of La Castagne, in France, where she happened to be born. She gives us a brief sketch of her family, descendants, on the maternal side, of Francis Lewis, one of the heroic signers of the Declaration of Independence.
We then follow her in a stormy voyage across the Atlantic, in which she was shipwrecked, when two little brothers were washed overboard ; one was rescued, but - the other was lost.” She then naïvely sketches the history of her schoolday joys and sorrows, ending with an elopement and a precocious marriage. All the details, both tragic and comic, are given with the most amusing, often affecting particularity; and the sympathetic reader is involuntarily led to make her joys and sorrows his own. Like
every true chapter of checkered human life, the lights and shadows are nearly equally, often fitfully blended, and we are alternately moved to tears and laughter.
New York Mirror. One of the few books which it is difficult to lay down till every page is read is the “ Autobiography of Mrs. Mowatt.”' I have actually stolen the time which ought to have been appropriated to certain special demands, to look through the pages of this strange volume. To look at any chapter of contents is sure to send you to the text; and to start with the text is to rivet your attention, in spite of every extraneous call. . Mrs Mowatt’s Autobiography will have a permanent place in American literature. Edition after edition will come from the press. It will be the exciting theme of book notices, and even of labored reviews. — New Covenant.
These personal memoirs are replete with romantic interest. The life of Mrs. Mowatt has been an eventful one, beyond that even of most actresses; and it is not alone her personal friends who will find this volume full of interest. Every one who has witnessed the impersonations of the talented actress, and who has heard something of her romantic story, will eagerly avail themselves of this opportunity to learn more of one whose life has been one of singular vicissitudes, and whose experience must, of necessity, be rich in personal reminiscence. The book has the interest of a novel from beginning to end. The tone is high and unaffectedly religious ; and while the author vindicates the profession which she is about to quit, she mingles words of counsel with her farewell, which cannot fail to
benefit those for whom they are intended. - Dollar Newspaper.
Mrs. Mowatt is certainly one of the cleverest women living. In all that she undertakes she succeeds, and this not so much by force of genius as by her womanly tact, and a degree of energy that could scarcely be expected in so slight and delicate a frame as hers. She has written good poetry; good magazine sketches; the best of modern American comedies (Fashion); a capital poetical drama (Armand); has taken high rank as an actress, and now she has given to the world the pleasantest bit of autobiography that we have seen for a long time. It is a frank, simple narrative, with little affectation, and no more egotism than is always unavoidable where the narrator is the heroine. Her school-days, her courtship and elopement, her domestic habits, her reverses, her career as a public reader and actress, at home and abroad, her widowhood, and everything in her recent history, except her second courtship, which is to take her from public life, are admirably told. Anecdotes abound in the volume; and there is not a page that does not exhibit the traits of a truly “ smart woman. We shall not be surprised if this book takes the lead of all others in popularity this season. Philadelphia Mail.
* * * We have been looking for this volume with some interest, and now that it has at length reached us, we give it the cordial welcome due to its intellectual writer, who is one of the most accomplished females that has ever graced the American boards. The Autobiography makes a handsome volume of four hundred and forty-eight duodecimo pages, well printed and bound. The scenes, incidents, and characters, so graphically presented, are distributed through various portions of this country and Europe, and give the details of a most varied and interesting life, passed among vicissitudes of exceedingly bright and darkly adverse fortune. It has much the air of romance, and portions possess a truly dramatic and effective interest. The portrait that adorns the frontispiece looks full of truthful earnestness, and almost speaks the author's bright and sparkling thoughts, the emotions flashing in the exuberance of flowing spirits and expressive animation, which wreathe the whole countenance in smiles. — Saturday Courier.
It is with the greatest simplicity and candor of thought and expression, with the modesty and true refinement which made her so beloved in private life, and respected in her successful career. There is so much naturalness and kindly spirit in every page, that we think no one can rise from its perusal without feeling they have made the acquisition of a very charming friend, whom they will delight to meet again in her own person. There is a good deal of playfulness in her temper, which has fine scope amid the various people and scenes among which her profession led her. Her passing notice of cotemporary celebrities is always interesting and to the purpose. Miss Martineau and mesmerism, in their connection, are very fully and boldly handled. Her defence of the stage is sustained by a good deal of research and good sense. There were portions of her domestic relations and personal narrative that are very touching ; but we leave our readers to receive their sweetness and sadness from the book itself. The laurels are still new, and fresh, and green, on her brow. Those who have seen her beautiful embodiment of the most lovely and powerful characters will ever remember these occasions as among the most interesting in their experience ; and those who have but this opportunity, and who, in her withdrawal from the stage, can never hope to be moved by her personations, will repent more than ever their loss. New Bedford Mercury.