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The Lamplighter

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  515 ratings  ·  47 reviews
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.
Paperback, 480 pages
Published October 1st 1988 by Rutgers University Press (first published 1854)
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Community Reviews

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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 "surp ...more
Wayne S.
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 i ...more
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!
Oct 14, 2013 Ginger rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested it this type novel
Recommended to Ginger by: no one
Shelves: audio, fiction
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.
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.
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 ha
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 f ...more
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.
Wendy Webber
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 sorr ...more
Carol James maguire
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.
Vanessa Tuell perkins
Best for older child who can discuss abstract. The book will probably be enjoyed more by girls than boys (not a lot of action). I loved it. It made me reflect on my own character. It's a book that will stay with me forever.
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 characte ...more
The lamp lighter is the book that inspired the name of Lamplighter publishing, Mark Hamby loved it so much that he named his company after it. So it's not strange that I expected it to be amazing, but it was only good, if that. He should have named his company The Hidden Hand ;-)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dayna Smith
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 ...more
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 ...more
a bit slow and verbose, but really nice and sentimentally
Chelsea Laferla
Amazing book! Moving, encouraging, beautiful. Must read.
loved this book!
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.
Lana Jackson
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.
Erika De maria
This book reminds me a lot of a Dickens story in that there are several story lines that don't appear to have anything to do with each other at first, and yet they all tie up nicely together in the end.

My father bought this book for me for Christmas one year and told me that I would love it...he was right. I Couldn't put it down and read it in a little over a day. To this day, it is still one of my favorite books. <3
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?).
The best description of gaining self control I've read yet is in this book. Lots of great things to learn. I decided not to read it to our children yet. I think the main reason why is because there are some relationships that were ok in that time period (like between cousins) that are not ok now and I want to wait until they are a bit older for those and some other parts.
Started this book last fall, but life got busy and I didn't get back to it until now.... And I loved it! Highly recommend it! It's one I would read again and again! (I gave it 5 stars -I reserve 5 stars for only my very favorites!) Would love to do this as a book club book next year. So much happens in the story that I don't even want to hint at any of it...
It has always surprised me that this was a great bestseller. As opposed to come of the other reviewers, I found that this novel was trite, predictable, and stuck rigidly to the 19th century plot of "good girl on hard times stays true to her morals and faith, which eventually lands her a caring rich man to take care of her". Yawn.
I was hoping I had found a lovely old gem in this book, but I was disappointed.

The melodrama of this book was unitentionally funny. Lots of fainting and watering graves with tears, and self-sacrificial grand gestures.

The book is entirely unrealistic. There are not enough redeeming qualities to make it worth your time.
Sadly I have no idea what this story is about. I haven't read it in years. (I know, so helpful) I do remember liking the whole lamplighter idea though. It's your typical classic, but I remember liking it. I'll have to re-read it at some point when school isn't so busy and figure out what this is about again.
Kate Washburn
I loved this book. It is no wonder it was a best-seller, second only to Uncle Tom's Cabin. I am sad to see it swept under the rug by uptight, poorer writers such as Hawthorne. It is a wonderful Bildungsroman (coming of age) story of a young orphan girl who discovers faith, love, and peace.
Barbara Fabricius (du Plooy)
I borrowed this book from a lady when I was a young child. The first time I read it I could hardly see the words for crying. I inherited the book from that same lady and I have read it three times since and I would never part with this book. The tears still fall when reading it.
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500 Great Books B...: The Lamplighter - Maria Susanna Cummins 1 2 Jul 17, 2014 07:11PM  
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  • The Hidden Hand: Or, Capitola the Madcap
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  • Titus: A Comrade of the Cross
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  • That Printer of Udell's
  • The Trail of the Serpent
  • Aunt Jane's Hero: Portrait of a Christ Centered Home
  • To Have and to Hold: A Tale of Providence and Perseverance in Colonial Jamestown
  • The Hedge of Thorns
  • Mother
  • Alone Yet Not Alone
  • Treasures of the Snow
  • Ester Ried
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  • Elsie's Womanhood (The Original Elsie Classics, #4)
  • Mr. Harrison's Confessions
Maria Susanna Cummins (April 9, 1827 – October 1, 1866) was an American novelist.

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El Fureidis Mabel Vaughan (1857) De Lantaarnman (deel 2) De Lantaarnman (deel 1)

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