Rebecca Harding Davis (1831-1910) is typically defined as a pioneering realist writer. As this site suggests, she was that and much more. She wrote in a wide range of genres--realism, romance, sketch, gothic, mystery, silhouettes, and many others. Equally important, Davis was not only a renowned fiction writer and essayist, she was a nationally recognized journalist, writing editorials for the New-York Tribune, the Philadelphia Press, and the New York World. She also was a prolific author of children's and young adult literature.  Examining the body of Davis's writings from the 1860s to 1910 reveals the extraordinary range of cultural issues that she addressd over her lifetime.

Mischa Renfroe (
Professor of English
Middle Tennessee State University

Robin  L. Cadwallader, St. Francis University
Donna Compbell, Washington State University
Anna Mae Duane, University of Connecticut
Sharon M. Harris, University of Connecticut
Janice Lasseter, Samford University
Alicia Mischa Renfroe, Middle Tennessee State University
Arielle Zibrak, University of Wyoming

For details about Davis's life, see Sharon M. Harris's REBECCA HARDING DAVIS: A LIFE AMONG WRITERS (West Virginia UP, 2018 - available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and your local bookstores).

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"A Great Object-Lesson," The Independent, 30 July 1903

“A Great Object-Lesson” The great Controller of the world does not often gratify the dramatic sense of his creatures with a finer scene than that of…

"In the Old Days," The Independent, 12 Nov. 1908

“In the Old Days”  I am going to tell you a true love story of the days when I was young, in order to show you a curious difference between that time…

"Low Wages for Women," The Independent,  8 Nov. 1888.

“Low Wages for Women” I have read, within the last six days, as many earnest, carefully written papers in leading American and English magazines on…

"Forgotten Worthies: David Zeisberger." The Congregationalist, 14 Jan. 1886.

FORGOTTEN WORTHIES BY REBECCA HARDING DAVIS. DAVID ZEISBERGER While John Woolman[1] was still a baby in the poor farm house at Mount Holly, another…

"From Door to Door." Congregationalist, 13 Oct. 1877, p. 2.

FROM DOOR TO DOOR BY REBECCA HARDING DAVIS During last winter there was an earnest movement among all the Protestant denominations in Philadelphia to…

"Heavenly Call." The Congregationalist, 5 May 1887.

THE HEAVENLY CALL BY REBECCA HARDING DAVIS The McCall farm lies at the head of Ninegemoose Creek, in one of the hill counties of Pennsylvania. Old…