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

"One or Two Plain Questions." The Independent, 22 October 1908, pp. 944-46.

“One or Two Plain Questions” By Rebecca Harding Davis Every day the Weather Bureau[1] gives us a report in the news papers of the condition of the…

"Two Methods with the Negro." The Independent, 31 March 1898, pp. 401-2.

“Two Methods with the Negro” By Rebecca Harding Davis The recent Negro Conference at Tuskegee[1] was especially useful, as it set before the public…

"The Plague Spot of America." The Independent, 4 July 1889, p. 1.

“The Plague Spot of America” By Rebecca Harding Davis The Prince of Wales, it is said, is at the head of a movement to honor the memory of Father…

"One Woman's Question." The Independent, 18 July 1907, pp. 132-33.

“One Woman’s Question” By Rebecca Harding Davis Did you ever notice a shrewd farmer as he goes over his fields, how he takes account of every trifling…

"An American Family." The Independent, 15 March 1906, pp. 602-604

“An American Family” By Rebecca Harding Davis This account of an ordinary American family, its fortunes and its growth was given to me by one of its…

"A Middle Aged Woman." The Independent, 1 September 1904, pp. 489-94.

“A Middle-Aged Woman” By Rebecca Harding Davis The clock was pointing to six when Mrs. Shore and her son’s wife turned into a shaded street on their…