English dramatist who is known for The Runaway (1776), as well as for her most popular work, The Belle's Stratagem (1780). Her works often focus on marriage and on the struggles of women to overcome social and familial injustice.
Her frequent visits to the theater inspired her to become a playwright, herself. She wrote her debut dramatic work, The Runaway, in 1776, and the play ran for seventeen performances during its initial season at London's Drury Lane theatre.
She attempted to write poetry, but did not fully succeed in the medium; her plays were much better-received.
She was born in Tiverton, Devon, England to bookseller Phillip Parkhouse and Hannah Richards Parkhouse. She later married journalist Thomas Cowley, with whom she had several children.