Woman of the Century/Metta Victoria Fuller Victor
VICTOR , Mrs. Metta Victoria Fuller, author, born near Erie, Pa., 2nd March, 1851. Her maiden name was Fuller. She was the third of a family of five children. From early childhood she showed literary tastes and inclinations. At the age of ten she was dreaming of poets and poetry and essaying rhymed composition. Her parents, fully appreciating the promise of their daughters, removed to Wooster, Ohio, in 1839, and there gave them the advantages of excellent schools for several years. METTA VICTORIA FULLER VICTOR. Metta's literary career commenced at thirteen years of age, for she was then writing for the local press in prose and verse, winning a reputation which soon made her more than a local celebrity. Her "Silver Lute," written in 1840, was an extraordinary production for a girl of her age and was reprinted in most of the papers of the West and South. That success was followed by great activity in verse and story, and she and her sister, Frances A., became widely known as "The Sisters of the West." At fifteen years of age she produced the romance, "Last Days of Tul" (Boston, 1846), and it had a quick and extensive sale. In 1846, over the pen-name "Singing Sybil," she began to write for the New York "Home Journal," then edited by N. P. Willis and George P. Morris. The serial, "The Tempter," a sequel to "The Wandering Jew," published in the " Home Journal," created a derided literary sensation, and the identity of the writer was then first established. Numerous prize stories were produced by her for the "Saturday Evening Post" and "Saturday Evening Bulletin," of Philadelphia, all of which were afterwards published in book-form. The first volume of poems by the Fuller sisters, under the editorship of Rufus Wilmot Griswold, was published in New York City, in 1850. The same year a Buffalo, N. Y., firm issued the volume, "Fresh Leaves from Western Woods." Her novel, "The Senator's Son: A Plea for the Maine Law," followed in 1851. It was issued by a Cleveland, Ohio, publishing house. It had an enormous circulation, and was reprinted in London, whence the acknowledgment came of a sale of thirty-thousand copies. These successes made her work in great demand, and she produced in the succeeding five years a great deal of miscellany in the fields of criticism, essays, letters on popular or special themes, and numerous poems. In 1856 Miss Fuller became the wife of Orville I. Victor, then editing the Sandusky, Ohio, "Daily Register," and for two years thereafter she did a great deal of admirable pen-work for that paper. In 1858 Mr. Victor, having taken editorial charge of the "Cosmopolitan Art Journal," they removed to New York City, and from that date up to her death, in June, 1885, Mrs. Victor was a constant and successful writer, chiefly in the field of fiction. One engagement may be instanced, that with the "New York Weekly," which paid her twenty-five-thousand dollars for a five-year exclusive serial story service for its pages. Her published volumes, besides those already indicated, number over twenty, all in the fields of fiction and humor. The novel, "Too True," written for "Putnam's Magazine" (1860), was reissued in two forms in New York City. The romance, "The Dead Letter" (1863) was printed in four separate book-forms in New York City, and three times serially. It was also reproduced in "Cassell's Magazine," London. Her "Maum Guinea: A Romance of Plantation and Slave Life" (New York, 1862) had an enormous sale in this country and Great Britain. The humorous "Miss Slimmen's Window" (New York, 1858), and "Miss Slimmen's Boarding House" (New York, 1859), were from Mrs. Victor's pen, as also was the "Bad Boy's Diary" (New York, 1874). "The Blunders of a Bashful Man" (New York, 1875) was first contributed by her to the "New York Weekly" as a serial. Personally, Mrs. Victor was a beautiful and lovable woman. Her fine home, "The Terraces," in Bergen county, N. J., was the Mecca of a wide circle of friends and literary people.