Anna Bowman Dodd, née Blake, was born in Brooklyn, New York. As a child, she traveled abroad with her parents and learned to speak French and Italian fluently. After making her debut in society, she contributed articles to newspapers and magazines, including the New York Evening Post, Harper's, and Lippincott's. As her fame grew, she traveled to France and Italy on assignment and produced travel essays, short stories, and journalism. In 1883, she married Edward Williams Dodd, a Boston merchant. She began writing art criticism, and for two years contributed pieces to The Art Journal. She was the author of more than a dozen books on topics such as travel and French history, including Falaise: The Town of the Conqueror
(1900), In and Out of Three Normandy Inns
(1892), and Talleyrand: The Training of a Statesman, 1754-1838
Her second book, The Republic of the Future (1887), speculated about life in the 21st century. At her death, she left bulk of her estate to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. It now supports the triennial Blake-Dodd Prize of $25,000 given to a nonfiction writer.