Mary Austin Holley found life challenging and made it interesting for others. As wife and widow of Horace Holley, eminent orator, clergyman, and educator, and as cousin and friend of Stephen F. Austin, founder of the first Texas colony, she formed friendships among important people. From New Haven to New Orleans and Brazoria, Texas, she was beloved. The panorama of her life, described in vivid detail by a former head of the English Department at Texas Christian University, transports the reader to the tempestuous early years of the American Republic and, finally, to Texas during its colonization and early Republic years. Throughout this charming book Mrs. Holley's intuition for important people brings the reader into the company of many of America's great and accomplished: Noah Webster, John Quincy Adams, President and Mrs. Monroe, Andrew Jackson, Sam Houston, and many others.