Read The Lamplighter by Maria Susanna Cummins Online


A female Bildungsroman, The Lamplighter tells the story of Gertrude Flint, an abandoned and mistreated orphan rescued at the age of eight by Trueman Flint, a lamplighter, from her abusive guardian, Nan Grant....

Title : The Lamplighter
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780813513331
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 480 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Lamplighter Reviews

  • Jason
    2019-06-13 15:43

    The Lamplighter, one of the more popular books in the country when it was released in the mid-19th century, is an engaging story of a undisciplined and unloved girl who has her life transformed, by Providence, through the love of strangers, whose ties to her are greater than anyone initially suspects. It is well told and well written. It does start off slow, but moves fast after the girl -- Gertrude, or "Gerty" -- grows up. The last half of the book is, in particular, hard to put down. The "surprises" in the book are predictable, but the predictability is made up for in joy and the rewarding of goodness. It is primarily a story of the fruit of gratefulness, and secondarily a love story, though some may reverse the two. It is a religious book; the Bible is appropriately exalted. But a warning: While the third-person narrator rightly declares very early in the book that Christ died for Gerty, the two subsequent statements to the young Gerty, from two of the most noble characters, about how she might obtain a heavenly home instruct her "if you're good" and "if you try to be good and love everybody." Such instructions, which no character bothers to correct, are a rejection of the gift offered in the form of Christ's fully effective atoning sacrifice on the cross, and perhaps stem from the author's position, according to one brief biography, as a Sunday School teacher in a Unitarian church.

  • Hannah
    2019-06-12 22:21

    This is a wonderful book! I read the Lamplighter edition first, then found the original unedited version later. It was like reading an entirely different book to read the full version...about a third of the book was taken out in the edited version. There were a few plot gaps in the edited version that aren't in the complete edition. I absolutely love this!

  • Victoria Lynn
    2019-06-16 19:19

    Another one of my favorite period pieces. I have read it numerous times and listened to it read aloud. This story is one I will treasure always and hope to pass on to my children someday.

  • Rachael Marsceau
    2019-06-01 17:33

    Usually I have already decided how many stars I'm going to give a novel by the time I'm halfway through it. This earned a solid 3 stars in my head, because even though it was kind of going nowhere, I liked the characters and especially loved the old English. But then I reached the last 10 chapters or so, and...PLOT TWIST. And then ANOTHER TWIST. And TWIST SOME MORE! Until finally I finished the book and was left with a feeling of awe, as well as something resembling how I feel after riding Raging Bull at Great America. I was also smiling and stroking the cover; something that I catch myself doing after an especially satisfying read. So, yes. This was one of the very first books I ever added to my to-read shelf here on Goodreads, and the 3 stars turned into 5 stars because of the marvelous, masterfully-sculpted ending. Read it!

  • Wayne Walker
    2019-05-30 18:43

    When the story opens, Gertrude or Gerty is an eight-year-old orphaned girl in Boston, MA, who is being raised by a mean widow named Nan Grant, whose late husband Ben was a sailor and whose son Stephen is a scoundrel. Gerty finds a kitten to be her pet, but Nan kills it and then throws the sick little Gerty out on the street in the snow. The girl is adopted by the kindly old local lamplighter, Trueman, or True, Flint. He later becomes ill, and Gerty nurses him until he dies. The girl then moves in with their neighbor, Mrs. Sullivan, a widow whose father, the ailing Mr. Cooper, and son William or Willie also live with her. Willie and Gerty become good friends, but he receives employment by which he is sent to India for several years. Gerty then helps nurse Mr. Cooper and after him Mrs. Sullivan through their final illnesses and deaths.With nowhere else to go, Gerty is adopted by a friend of Mr. Flint and the Sullivans, a charitable blind lady named Emily Graham, and eventually becomes a schoolteacher. While travelling in New York for Emily’s health, they meet a strange, melancholy man who identifies himself as Mr. Phillips. What kind of seemingly coincidental connections have apparently drawn all these people together? How will they affect Gerty and her future? And will she ever see her beloved Willie again? The Lamplighter was a sentimental novel written by Maria Susanna Cummins (April 9, 1827 – October 1, 1866) and published in 1854. It was Cummins's first novel and was an immediate best-seller, selling 20,000 copies in twenty days, 40,000 in eight weeks, and 65,000 within five months, second in sales only to Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin. It was the third American novel to sell over a million copies. One reviewer called it "one of the most original and natural narratives." This is a wonderful book which we did as a family read aloud and everyone enjoyed. There are many good qualities displayed throughout the plot. Through the righteous influence of True Flint and then Emily Graham, the wild and hot-tempered Gerty is lovingly raised as she is taught virtues and religious faith. She becomes a godly woman who in adulthood is rewarded for her long suffering. In literary criticism, the story is considered a Bildungsroman, a novel of formation, education, or coming-of-age in which character change for the better is extremely important. There is a lot of emphasis on trusting in God, developing patience, and showing kindness to others. Even though True Flint is not really the main character from a plot standpoint, the book is so titled because the ripples of his thoughtful actions early on are felt throughout. As a result, readers will see how God fills the life of this neglected and dejected little girl with hope as she learns to be a virtuous young woman.

  • Ginger
    2019-06-07 16:22

    Truly enjoyed. The Lamplighter is about an orphan and her life. It tells of events bad and good that lead to different outcomes in her life and how she overcomes. I listened by audio and found myself ready for the next traveling time to be able to listen again. For me personally the first chapter was a heart wrenching chapter.

  • Sara
    2019-05-31 15:26

    This is really the 19th century American sentimental novel at its best. It's not deep, it's not profound, and it's not even all that believable, but I would definitely put it into the "snuggly" category, and those are my favorites.

  • Nata
    2019-06-04 21:36

    O poveste interesantă despre credință, despre oamenii cu sufletul mare, despre viața unei orfane. Despre cum este abandonată, umilită de unii și iubită necondiționat de alții. Despre iertare, regăsire, reuniune, împlinire și fericire, până la urmă.

  • Gordon Gravley
    2019-05-23 15:37

    A nice, Dickens-esque read. I particularly enjoyed the first half and the relationship between the old lamplighter and the poor girl, Gerty, who he takes under his care. The second half settled into a rather slow romance.

  • Nathan
    2019-06-14 15:32

    Prime example of sentimental fiction, following the story of a young woman from orphanhood to adulthood. One of my favorite things about this book is the emphasis it places on love; our main character, Gerty, has her life completely changed when she is shown the love she needs as a child. And watching her grow, having been developed by that love, is not only enjoyable, but often moving. For a satisfying read that showcases the great trials (and strengths) of women, I highly recommend The Lamplighter.

  • Nancy
    2019-06-13 18:26

    Written so intelligently, it made me desirous of improving my simple speech and mind. There were also lessons in self control over emotions, cultivating and maintaining a pure heart and motives; overlooking unfair treatment and harboring no ill will toward those who inflict unkindness towards oneself and others.

  • Emma
    2019-06-06 21:20

    I read the unedited original edition of The Lamplighter and was enthralled by the beauty of this story. Immaculate use of language, coupled with well-formulated story pacing and character arcs, made for a literary masterpiece. A gorgeous period piece.

  • Laura
    2019-06-11 16:28

    Very good message of love and redemption. The ending was almost to perfect, but it was a very good book.

  • Shelby
    2019-05-24 19:41

    Wow...almost unfinishable.

  • Theresa Stinnett
    2019-05-21 19:16

    I almost loved this book. But be aware, it is very dramatic. The Lamplighter is a rather sweet story about, Gerty, a little orphan girl who is rescued from her cruel guardian, Nan Grant, by a kind lamplighter named Truman Flint. As the story progresses, Gerty changes from a tempramental and resentful child into a lovely, Christian lady who has learned through experience, suffering and the teachings of a sweet, blind woman, to control her own nature and submit herself to God. It is a story about devoted love, enduring love, selfless love that would give up anything for the pleasure and good of others. In the end, mystery and a heart-rending twist keep you eagerly turning the pages and hoping beyond hope that somehow everything is going to turn out. At the last page, you will be more than satisfied. That is why I could love this book. What holds me back? The fact that, in order to get to the last, satisfying pages, the author broke your heart several times and led you through so many tragedies that you literrally began to lose patience. As Gerty went through each moment of suffering, I truly began to skim the middle of the book. I was tired of suffering with her and I was eager to get to the triumphant end. Now, I am a fan of drama, and I can handle a lot of heartache to get to the victory in a book, but the amount of suffering and troubles in this novel really tried my patience. I could also add that two tragedies in particular which occured in this book were so dreadful that they could truly be called cringe-worthy. With that said, the most traumatic of them has an ending that doesn't leave you in despair, and the wrong done is completely washed away by the characters' forgiving love. If it hadn't ended well, I really think I could have thrown this book half way across the room. But, if you can press forward and get to the middle-end of the novel, where mystery begins to build, you will find yourself too captivated to put the book down. And yes, it does have a happy ending. Two final notes: the twists in this book are fairly predictable, but that doesn't make the story less enjoyable. And, because I am a Christian, I'll note that the book maintained a Christian outlook throughout, but I didn't understand a couple themes of the book, and I really wished that the message of Christ's grace and redemption had been stressed a little more. Gerty ends up becoming a Christian and conquering her own, fiery nature because of it, but I feel it's important to realize that it is only through Jesus and by submitting ourselves to His will that we can overcome our carnal natures and resist the evil in this world. On our own, we are weak, but He is strong.

  • Saara
    2019-05-30 18:26

    I was drawn to borrow this novel solely on the basis of its appearance; I harbour a helpless attraction towards old books. The title also added to my intrigue, certainly, but I had no idea what I was in for: a deeply religious sentimental novel. It was clear from the very first chapter that there was going to be much praise of the heavenly Father.I finished it anyway.What we have here is the tale of an orphan child, Gertrude, in the beginning cruelly left to fend for herself by the person who had acted as her guardian, finding kindness, friendship and love in complete strangers — a kind of a family where she previously had none. Oh, and being taught to be good and virtuous through faith in God, of whom she knew nothing before her rescue. The story advances in leaps and bounds, following her through various trials to adulthood and a kind of independence. She has, miserable as the first years of her life were, become an exceedingly admirable young woman. There is all manner of happening and drama. And of course she has a love interest, too, a beloved childhood companion who at one point departed for India. The mystery of her birth is also addressed.But I shan't say anything more; I'll let you read it for yourself, should you be so inclined. Despite being somewhat discomfited and annoyed by the constant praise of the Lord, I did find the story engaging and touching, even when I could see some (alright, many) 'revelations' from a mile away. Word of warning, though: if you absolutely detest the narrative breaking the fourth wall at regular intervals and care for such pious text even less than myself, I wouldn't recommend the novel.

  • Carolina
    2019-06-15 16:18

    A precious book! The book contains little pockets of wisdom, love, and basically Christ! Though, if the reader were to skip over these, than this book would appear to be works righteousness.Now, the book was a wee bit sappy when it came to the romance, but it wasn't like a Hallmark movie, where a ton of people die. The writing style was not favorite, but that is not a fault to the author. And, whether it was supposed to be or not, it was pretty predictable. Really, I predicted it perfectly.Still, what popped out to me the most, was, that the purity and godly character of a girl, speaks louder than the raised chatter and physical beauty of a foolish women.The verse [Psalm 119:105] is a pretty good, basic summary.I loved Willie; the strong, firm, tender, respectable, and polite kind of Willie. His type is the kind I've read a lot of, in Lamplighters (at least, from what I've read).The three most heart-breaking parts-- for me -- were the following...wait, I can't tell you! If I did, it would totally ruin it! Okay, ONE of the heart-breaking parts was, when the kitty was cruelly thrown across the room and drowned in a boiling pot of water! That was so shocking and sad, to me. Well, I guess you'll have to read it to find out the other heart-breaking parts!:)

  • Patsy
    2019-05-29 18:34

    A good wholesome classic, there were 70,000 copies sold in the first year that the book was published in 1854. This was Maria Susanna Cummins (1827-1866) first novel. This story was set in the 1800's in Boston, MA. Gertrude Flint 'Gerty', An 8 year old orphan girl; is raised by an unkind widow. For punishment Nan Grant, the widow throws the sick little girl into the cold snow outside. The lamplighter finds Gerty and takes her home with him. Mr. Trueman Flint 'True' raised Gerty who had never been taught manners, respect, kindness, or the love of God only disrespect and loneliness. Mr.True loved her and cared for her as his own daughter. She grew into a caring woman, taking care of others and giving love to all. She fell in love as a young girl with a young man that left her but returned years later, a true love story.This is a very sentimental story, somewhat predictable but a beautiful story. It begins at first; a fast paced read but in the middle slows down, the end is outstanding and the author brings it altogether. The end is like reading poetry.Maria Susanna Cummins was an American novelist, encouraged by her father to become a writer from an early age.

  • Kacie
    2019-05-28 19:42

    So, I had to pick a novel to read for my Early American Lit class, which is how I ended up reading The Lamplighter. My initial thoughts were that I was going to completely hate it, because honestly, I don't really enjoy classic literature. I find most of it boring and monotonous, and based on the short stuff I'd already had to read for the class, the idea of an early American novel just seemed like torture. So, imagine my surprised when I started reading and didn't completely hate it. Yes, the first half of the book is pretty slow going, and there are definitely parts in it that are painfully boring to get through, but it's not all bad. The main character, Gerty, has her charming moments, and overall I ended up being rather fond of her. She's a strong female in a time where being so was fairly uncommon. The downside is, it reminded me a whole lot of Pride and Prejudice, just not as good and with a lot more religion involved. So, I guess what this rambling review is getting at is, for an early American novel I was very pleasantly surprised, but it's not something I'll every probably pick up to read again. :-/

  • Becca
    2019-06-17 18:31

    This would be one of the better books by Lamplighter Publishing that I have encountered. A well-written, compelling story with good "morals" but not an undue reliance upon them or overt preaching. In many ways it is a Cinderella story. A girl comes from abuse, starvation, and rags to riches, love and prosperity. She finds the family she never had through some clever twists in the story line and unexpected outcomes. While the plot line is rather basic, simple, and predictable, as are the characters, the story is redeemed by an intriguing mystery and the beauty of constancy in friendship. I would recommend this book as a light, easy, wholesome (in the best sense of the word, only a slight tinge of sarcasm) read.

  • Patrizia
    2019-05-27 16:17

    Gironzolando per la rete alla ricerca di nuove letture, ho incontrato questo libro: vediamo un po' – mi sono chiesta – ma era proprio quello che a dodici anni avevo preso in prestito dalla biblioteca della scuola per divorarlo in pochi giorni? Il titolo italiano era 'La figlia del lampionaio', ed era pieno di emozionanti colpi di scena…Ebbene, io, che sono sempre stata favorevole alle 'edizioni integrali', devo ammettere che la mano gentile che aveva risparmiato alla ragazzina di allora le decine e decine sermoni che infestano il volume aveva fatto un ottimo lavoro. Negli stessi anni in cui la Cummins si dedicava al suo puritano moraleggiare, le mie amate scrittrici inglesi, per quanto religiose, esibivano il loro più laico humour...

  • Wendy Webber
    2019-06-02 22:33

    A nice historic fiction set in the mid 1800's in Boston, US. Follows the life of a young orphan who when taken in by an elderly lamplighter starts on a journey of discovering the great lighter of lamps and development of christian character including self-control. Once we get to the latter part of the book, we see a lovely balance of gentleness of character while also standing up for doing the right thing when others chose to placate or submit to bullies. Her life is hard and there are many sorrows (which may be unsuitable for very young children to read alone) but it does all work out for good in the end. A lovely book for all but especially young women as it touches on a very, very high view of character unseen in our modern era.

  • Dayna Smith
    2019-05-25 20:27

    Another in the wonderful Rare Collector's series by Lamplighter Publishing, indeed the book which gave the company its name. This story was written in the 1800s when men had to light the street lamps in cities around the country. True, a old lamplighter, takes in an abused orphan named Gerty. His kindness and love give little Gerty a new lease on life. She finds herself to be more than she ever imagined she could be. A wonderful tale of Christian compassion and love, even in times of despair and sadness. The older style of writing may seem hard for some readers, but the story is its own reward.

  • Felicity
    2019-06-01 16:45

    OK, OK, so I had to read this for my dissertation, so is it really fair to review it?? But honestly, I just wanted to warn anyone who, for some peculiar reason, decides they want to waste precious hours of their life reading this is bad. Turgid. No wonder Nathaniel Hawthorne was so annoyed that this book outsold his own. Give me "The Scarlet Letter" any day. This book is 400 pages long. I skipped fifty at some stage, and it didn't make a whit of difference. The plot, if you can call it that, moves so sloooooowly, that you can easily figure out what's going on. Highly unrecommended.

  • Anna
    2019-06-19 22:39

    This book was really good, but too short! I would have kept reading on and on it was so good. Gerty is one of those heroines who wasn't the typical (beautiful) damsel in distress who is rescued and lives happily ever after. She is very much the opposite. In the beginning of the book she is stubborn, rebellious, and vengeful, so it is interesting to see her grow to be kind and (spoiler) eventually show kindness to all of the people who treated her the worst.

  • Marilyn Stein
    2019-05-24 15:41

    I'm not sure if this is the edition that I have but it is as close as I can come. My book was my Dad's. He has his name and the year 1926 written in it. There are 246 pages. The print is quite small. I never realized this was a top selling book in it's time. Only after reading the reviews here did I find that out.I read it as a youngster and mainly because it had been my Dad's and I wanted to read the same books as he had. I remember very little about it.

  • Carol James maguire
    2019-06-15 20:38

    What an amazing book....I truly loved it. I cannot believe I had never heard of it with it being as popular as it was so many years ago. I hope it comes back into the light and is enjoyed by many again. I must say that I believe Rhett Butler, of Gone With the Wind, got some of his characteristics from a male character in this book. A joy to read and when I had to be away from it, I felt the characters living on in the background of my mind waiting for my return to carry on with their story.

  • Chris
    2019-06-11 15:21

    Not bad, though slow at parts. I have the Lamplighter Publishing copy which I understand has been edited somewhat. The overall story is great but the characters lack some of the depth you'd expect with a book this size; not sure how else to describe it. It seems the author wants you to connect to the characters but because they are lacking something I found it hard to do so. In the end I'm glad to have read it but it won't likely be brought out again.

  • Lana Jackson
    2019-05-30 16:32

    The Lamplighter was published in 1854 and sold 70,000 copies during that time period. It is the story of a young orphan girl mistreated in her youth who comes to know love from people who take her into their homes. The characters are expertly woven together with a surpise connection revealed in the end.I liked reading the historical aspects of this book because I knew the details were absolutely accurate since it was written in that time period.

  • Stephanie
    2019-06-13 18:39

    This read started out a bit tedious for me, but I fell in love with it by the second half! I never thought I'd be so bias, but it was such a relief to actually feel good about reading this book-and that's because it's American. No horrible random racism thrown in to make me feel sorry about liking it-like with (let's be honest here) EVERY Victorian author (not to mention all British fantasists-is that even a word?).