cover of book

'The Lamplighter' by Maria Susanna Cummins
edited by Nina Baym
Rutgers University Press, 1988
Paper: 978-0-8135-1333-1 | Cloth: 978-0-8135-1332-4
Library of Congress Classification PS1474.C5L3 1988
Dewey Decimal Classification 813.3

The Lamplighter was the first novel by twenty-seven-year-old Maria Susanna Cummins. It propelled her into a prominence that continued until her early death at the age of thirty-nine. A novel of female development, The Lamplighter is a woman's version of the quest story. Its heroine, Gerty, comes on the scene as a child abandoned in the slums of Boston. Rescued by the kindly lamplighter Trueman Flint, she learns to meet life with courage and honesty. The novel touched the hearts, validated the ideals, and assuaged the anxieties of a huge readership, and it remained continuously in print until the 1920s.

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