Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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CUMMINS, Maria Susanna, author, born in Salem, Massachusetts, 9 April 1827; died in Dorchester, 1 October 1866. She was the daughter of Judge David Cummins, and received her education at Mrs. Charles Sedgwick's school in Lenox. About 1850 she turned her attention to literature, and beside her novels contributed various articles to the "Atlantic Monthly" and other magazines. Her first book, " The Lamplighter" (Boston, 1854), achieved great popularity, and upward of 40,000 copies were sold within two months. It passed through several editions in this country and in England, and its entire sale has exceeded 119,000 copies. Her later publications include " Mabel Vaughan " (1857), which is considered by many critics superior to her first book ; "E1 Fureidis," a story of Palestine and Syria (1860); and "Haunted Hearts" (1864). Miss Cummins was a writer of great power ; her characters were drawn with skill, and there was always a motive in her productions aside from their general interest.
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