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).

Recently Added Items

"The Conductor's Story." Hearth and Home, 2 Dec. 1871, pp. 946-47.

THE CONDUCTOR’S STORY  BY REBECCA HARDING DAVIS Good arable?[1] Yes, sir; and if you look at it in the way of scenery, it’s as pretty a bit of land as…

"Daniel Ponge's Success." The Congregationalist, 28 Feb. 1884, p. 2.

DANIEL PONGE’S SUCCESS BY REBECCA HARDING DAVIS Of all the members of the Third Church, Mrs. Clarkson Tate was the one whose religion took the most…

"Cured by Active Work." The Congregationalist, 16 Aug. 1888

CURED BY ACTIVE WORK. BY REBECCA HARDING DAVIS  Every man in business, once or twice a year must take account of stock, to see just where he stands.…

“A Night in the Mountains.” Appleton’s Journal, vol. 3, Dec. 1877, pp. 505-10.

"A Night in the Mountains." THE child's eyes turned from her old black maumee, on whose lap she lay, to her mother, kneeling beside her, and then out…

"A Story of Life Insurance" Peterson's Magazine, vol. 41, June 1862, pp. 447-54.

A STORY OF LIFE INSURANCE BY THE AUTHOR OF “THE MURDER IN THE GLEN ROSS” CHAPTER I. Near the close of a crowded court clay, I was at work in my inner…

"The Daughter-In-Law" Peterson's Magazine, vol. 53, Feb. 1868, pp. 121-32.

THE DAUGHTER-IN-LAW BY THE AUTHOR OF "THE SECOND LIFE," ETC., ETC. CHAPTER I. One of the oddest cases I remember, in my later practice, was that of…