Godey's Lady Book (review date July 1854)
SOURCE: Review of The Lamplighter, by Maria Susanna Cummins. Godey's Lady Book 49 (July 1854): 84-85.
[In the following review, the contemporary critic states that The Lamplighter provides enjoyable and edifying reading.]
We received a copy of the first edition of this popular work when it first appeared, but only had time to give it passing notice in the then forthcoming number of the “Lady's Book.” We have been since furnished with another copy, which we are pleased, but not astonished to see is one of the “thirty fifth thousand” that have already passed through the press. We can now say that we have carefully perused this work, and have no hesitation in pronouncing it to be, in our opinion, one of the best and purest of its class that has emanated from an American mind. Too many of our writers are in the habit, when attempting to sketch the realities of humble life, to draw extravagant and revolting pictures of viciousness, or of too suddenly reforming and transforming their most abandoned characters into angels of light, and then setting them up as miracles of virtue. There are, indeed, some few extravagances observable in the denouement of the plot of The Lamplighter; but, notwithstanding these, the reader will be gratified, entertained, and instructed by the graphic and feeling style of the author, and, it may be, made better in heart by the just, generous, and charitable sentiments that profusely flow from her pen. We hope the work will go up to another “thirty-fifth thousand,” because we think its perusal is calculated to do a great deal of good, independent of the delight it affords as a source of amusement.