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 fange 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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1865-00-early, Annie Adams Fields

To ANNIE ADAMS FIELDS [early 1865], Philadelphia My dear Annie Half asleep—I sit down to write to you—not I hope to send you the lees of the day.…

1864-05-16, James T. Fields

To JAMES T. FIELDS? May 14, [1864], Philadelphia My dear friend Many thanks for your trouble in returning the ms.[1] I know it was not usual to ask,…

1864-00-summer, Annie Adams Fields

To ANNIE ADAMS FIELDS [summer 1864], Point Pleasant, NJ My dear Annie, I am afraid to leave the house after night on the baby’s[1] account, so…

1864-00-fall, Annie Adams Fields

To ANNIE ADAMS FIELDS [c. fall 1864], Philadelphia Something in your last note, dear Annie, made me lay it down with the words ‘the best letter…


To ANNIE ADAMS FIELDS [early 1864], Philadelphia Dear Annie I would have written on Saturday, but could not, as our house still is an hospital. Little…

1864-December-late, Annie Adams Fields

To ANNIE ADAMS FIELDS [late December, 1864], Philadelphia My dear, dear Annie When I came home[1] your letter was here. It has been waiting for me for…