Maria Susana Cummins: Mabel Vaughan (1745 words)

  • Kathryn Jane Rees (University of Cambridge)
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Mabel Vaughan was the second of Cummins’s four novels, all published anonymously although her identity soon became known. Her books were immensely popular, especially among middle-class female readers. Nina Baym characterises Cummins’s first novel, The Lamplighter (1854) as “the orphan’s rise”, and Mabel Vaughan as “the heiress’s fortunate fall”: both are “stories of spiritual as well as social regeneration” (170). Cummins was a devout Unitarian, and her books advocate a form of Protestantism that is grounded in the concept of the individual being fundamentally capable but needing to be strengthened by a spiritual understanding of experience. Like …

Rees, Kathryn Jane. "Mabel Vaughan". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 November 2016
[, accessed 25 February 2018.]

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