A Cathedral Singer is a fictional novel written by James Lane Allen. This uplifting novel penned by prominent Kentucky novelist James Lane Allen reminds readers that the most beautiful things in art and in life are often found in the most unexpected places. Young Ashby Truesdale has been blessed with a singing voice of remarkable purity and earnestness, but his family is mired in unspeakable poverty. Will he be able to overcome this hindrance to bring his creative gift to the world?
James Lane Allen (December 21, 1849 – February 18, 1925) was an American novelist and short story writer whose work, including the novel A Kentucky Cardinal, often depicted the culture and dialects of his native Kentucky. His work is characteristic of the late-19th century local color era, when writers sought to capture the vernacular in their fiction. Allen has been described as "Kentucky's first important novelist." James Lane Allen was born near Lexington, Kentucky to Richard and Helen Jane (Foster) Allen on December 21, 1849. Allen, the youngest child in the family, had four sisters Lydia, May, Sally, and Annie, and two brothers, John and Henry.
Allen lived at the Scarlet Gate estate in Lexington in the late 1800s until age 22 years. Allen spent his youth in Lexington during the Antebellum era, the American Civil War, and the Reconstruction periods. His childhood experience heavily influenced his writing. He described living at Scarlet Gate in the introduction to A Kentucky Cardinal. In 1893 Allen moved to New York City, where he lived until his death. He was a contributor to Harper's Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, and other popular magazines of the time. His novels include The Choir Invisible, which was a very popular best seller in 1897.