U.S. playwright and actress, author of the satirical play Fashion.
A precocious child she acted at the age of five and had read all of Shakespeare´s plays before she was ten.
Her marriage at 15 to James Mowatt, a New York lawyer, gave her ample opportunity to continue dabbling in the arts.
In 1841 after her husband lost his wealth she turned to performing and writing in earnest, giving poetry readings and writing articles for the popular magazines.
In 1845 she wrote Fashion the play with which she has since been associated. A devasting social satire Fashion expressed the growing feeling in the United States against emulation of European manners.
In June 1845 Mrs. Mowatt made a successful debut as an actress and entered another phase of her many-sided career.
In addition to Fashion she wrote the plays Gulzara (1841) and Armand (1847) and in 1854 her Autobiography of an Actress.
James Mowatt having died in 1851 she married William F. Ritchie in 1854 and retired from the stage.