May Agnes Fleming

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May Agnes Fleming
Born May Agnes Early
(1840-11-15)November 15, 1840
Carleton, New Brunswick, British North America
Died March 24, 1880(1880-03-24) (aged 39)
Resting place Calvary Cemetery, Brooklyn[1]
Pen name Cousin May Carleton; M. A. Earlie
Occupation Writer
Nationality Canadian
Genre Dime novel romance[2]
Spouse John W. Fleming
Children 4

May Agnes Fleming (November 15, 1840 – March 24, 1880) was a Canadian novelist. She was "one of the first Canadians to pursue a highly successful career as a writer of popular fiction."[3]

She was born May Agnes Early[4] in Carleton, West Saint John, in the Colony of New Brunswick. She married an engineer, John W. Fleming, in 1865.[2] She moved to New York two years after her first novel, Erminie; or The gypsy's vow: a tale of love and vengeance was published there (1863).[5]

Under the pseudonym Cousin May Carleton, she published several serial tales in the New York Mercury and the New York Weekly. Twenty-one were printed in book form, seven posthumously.[6] She also wrote under the pseudonym, M.A. Earlie. The exact count is unclear, since her works were often retitled, but is estimated at around 40, although some were not actually written by her, but were attributed to her by publishers cashing in on her popularity.[7] At her peak, she was earning over $10,000 yearly, due to publishers granting her exclusive rights to her work.[8]

She died in Brooklyn, of Bright's disease.[8]


  • Silver Star; Or, The Mystery of Fontelle Hall: A Tale of New Jersey in the Olden Time (1861)
  • The Queen of the Isle, Or, Sybil Campbell (1861)[9] A.K.A. An Awful Mystery; or Sybil Campbell, the Queen of the Isle. A.K.A. The Queen of the Isle, Or, Sybil Campbell
  • Victoria; Or, The Heiress of Castle Cliff (1862)[10]
  • The Baronet's Bride; Or, A Woman's Vengeance (1868)
  • Magdalen's Vow (1871)
  • Guy Earlscourt's Wife (1873)[11]
  • A Wonderful Woman (1873)
  • A Terrible Secret (1874)
  • A Mad Marriage (1875)
  • The Midnight Queen (1876)
  • Kate Danton; Or, Captain Danton's Daughters (1876)
  • Silent and True; Or, A Little Queen (1877)
  • The Heir of Charlton (1878)
  • Carried by Storm; Or, Sleaford's Joanna (1878)
  • The Three Cousins; Or, Life at Hinton Hall (1878)
  • Lost for a Woman (1880)
  • A Wife's Tragedy (1881)
  • The Unseen Bridegroom; Or, Wedded for a Week (1881)
  • Sharing Her Crime (1882)
  • A Wronged Wife (1883)
  • Sir Noel's Heir (1887)
  • Who Wins; Or, The Secret of Monkswood Waste (1895)
  • The Actress' Daughter (1895)


  1. ^ "Fleming, May Agnes". Canada's Early Women Writers. Simon Fraser University Library ( Retrieved 15 April 2012.
  2. ^ a b "May Agnes Fleming". American Women's Dime Novel Project: Dime Novels for Women, 1870–1920. Center for History and New Media at George Mason University ( Retrieved 3 November 2010.
  3. ^ May Agnes Fleming Biography - (1840–80), Mercury, Metropolitan Record, Western Recorder, Philadelphia Saturday Night, Weekly, Journal Mary Jane Edwards Archived 2010-08-06 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Cogswell, Fred. "Early, May Agnes (Fleming)". Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Volume X (1871–1880). (
  5. ^ Story, Norah (1968). The Oxford Companion to Canadian History and Literature. Oxford University Press. p. 254.
  6. ^ Wallace, W. Stewart (1963). The Macmillan Dictionary of Canadian Biography (3rd ed.). Macmillan. p. 235. LC 64-10158.
  7. ^ "Obituary". St. John Weekly Sun. May Agnes Fleming, a native of St. John, was a very prolific writer of romances for the story papers, and a large number of her novels have been published by the cheap libraries, as well as many that are not hers, but having been written since her death, have been accredited to her in order to give them circulation. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  8. ^ a b Hovey, Joan Hall. "MAY AGNES FLEMING: 1840–1880 – Canada's First Best-Selling Novelist". Archived from the original on 2008-05-08. Retrieved 3 November 2010. Originally published in the New Brunswick Reader.
  9. ^ Wright bibliography number 918. Reel: F-6
  10. ^ Wright Bibliography Number 920; by Cousin May Carleton (pseud.) Reel F-8
  11. ^ Wright bibliography number 921. Reel: F-7

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