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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"Forgotten Worthies: David Zeisberger." 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…

"Heroism Unto Death." The Congregationalist, 12 April 1888.

HEROISM UNTO DEATH BY REBECCA HARDING DAVIS Among the reports of havoc and suffering caused by the great storm, our readers may not have noted a…

"Polly's Religion." The Congregationalist, 29 May 1884.

Polly’s Religion By Rebecca Harding Davis  There can be little doubt that if the people of Ball’s Ferry had been asked to decide which was the most…

"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…