Maria Susanna Cummins


Maria Susanna Cummins was born in Salem, Massachusetts
Salem, Massachusetts
Salem is a city in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 40,407 at the 2000 census. It and Lawrence are the county seats of Essex County...

, on April 9, 1827. She was the daughter of Honorable David Cummins and Maria F. Kittredge, and was the eldest of four children from that marriage. The Cummins family resided in the neighborhood of Dorchester in Boston, Massachusetts. Cummins' father encouraged her to become a writer at an early age. She studied at Mrs. Charles Sedgwick's Young Ladies School in Lenox, Massachusetts.

In 1854, she published the novel The Lamplighter
The Lamplighter
The Lamplighter is a sentimental novel written by Maria Susanna Cummins published on March 1, 1854. The Lamplighter was Cummins's first novel and was an immediate best-seller, selling 20,000 copies in twenty days. The work sold 40,000 in eight weeks, and within five months it had sold 65,000...

, a sentimental book which was widely popular and which made its author well-known. One reviewer called it "one of the most original and natural narratives". Within eight weeks, it sold 40,000 copies and totaled 70,000 by the end of its first year in print. She wrote other books, including Mabel Vaughan (1857), none of which had the same success. Cummins also published in some of the popular periodicals of her day.

Last of her gives a true picture of the Eastern way of life, well captured scenes of Palestinian life, although she never was in the East.[4]

Further reading

  • Dictionary of Literary Biography. 1978ff. Detroit. Gale Research Company.
  • Notable American Women: A Biographical Dictionary. 1971. Ed. Edward T. James, Janet Wilson James & Paul S. Boyer. 3 Bde. Cambridge, MA. The Belknap Press of Harvard UP.

External links

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