Remembered today primarily for one classic work – the novella “Life in the Iron Mills” (1861) – Rebecca Harding Davis was a popular and prolific nineteenth-century writer whose long literary career encompassed 9 novels, 292 stories and serials, plus numerous essays and juvenile pieces, most of which were published in the leading magazines of her day. Interesting as many of these texts are for their experiments with a new realist language and aesthetic for exploring the everyday lives of socially marginal groups ranging from frustrated women artists and newly freed slaves to child prostitutes and exploited industrial workers, most of them did not sustain the high quality of “Life in the Iron Mills”, her first major publication which opens with the narrator's pioneering…

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Citation: Nichols, Kathleen L.. "Rebecca Harding Davis". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 February 2005 [, accessed 16 July 2024.]

1163 Rebecca Harding Davis 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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