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Davis, Rebecca (Blaine) Harding (1831-1910).

novelist, short-story writer. Born in Pennsylvania, Rebecca Harding lived as a child in Alabama and in Wheeling, Virginia (later West Virginia), and was educated in a seminary in Pennsylvania. Her "Life in the Iron Mills" was based on personal observation in Wheeling; published in the Atlantic Monthly (April, 1861), it earned her a reputation as one of the earliest American realists. She warned her readers "I want you to hide your disgust, take no heed to your clean clothes, and come right down with me--here into the thickest fog and mud and effluvia." Margaret Howth (1862) followed, a milltown novel marred by sentimentality, as was much of her later work. Married to L. Clarke Davis, an editor, she lived most of her later life in Philadelphia, where some of her work is set. Her other novels include Waiting for the Verdict (1868), an ambitious study of the problems awaiting the country after the abolition of slavery, and John Andross (1874), about political corruption. Her later reputation was overshadowed by that of her son, <IR> RICHARD HARDING DAVIS </IR> .

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Publication:Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia of American Literature
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1991
Words:178
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