Rebecca Davis


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lived most of her life in Philadelphia, the background of several of her books. She first came into prominence with her realistic story “Life in the Iron Mills” (Atlantic Monthly, 1861). Margaret Howth (1862), a novel of life in a mill town, is somewhat marred by an undue stress on moral contrasts, but shows her purpose “to dig into this commonplace, this vulgar American life, and see what is in it.” Waiting for the Verdict (1868) is a novel strongly in favor of blacks, and John Andross (1874), about the Whiskey Ring and Pennsylvania corporation lobbying, shows the effect of political corruption. Mrs. Davis was the author of several other novels, an autobiography, and many short stories, some of which are collected in Silhouettes of American Life (1892). Some of her later writing drifts into sentimentality and prevailing literary conventions, but she is adept at character portrayal.

Subjects: Literature.

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