Maria Susana Cummins: The Lamplighter

(662 words)
  • Rebecca Saulsbury (Florida Southern College)

When Maria S. Cummins's first novel, The Lamplighter, appeared on the Boston literary scene on March 1, 1854, it was an immediate best-seller and cultural phenomenon. Second in sales only to Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, published two years earlier, it reportedly sold 20,000 copies in twenty days and 65,000 copies in five months. The Lamplighter's success was not limited to America's shores: it sold over 100,000 copies in Britain alone. At least thirteen British firms published the novel, often in multiple editions. It was translated into several different languages, including French, German, and Dutch, and it continued to sell well into the twentieth century.

The Lamplighter's …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Saulsbury, Rebecca. "The Lamplighter". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 January 2002
[, accessed 26 September 2016.]