Davis, Rebecca Harding, 1831–1910, American novelist, b. Washington, Pa.; mother of Richard Harding Davis. Her early nonfiction pieces, particularly those collected under the title Life in the Iron Mills (1861), and her first novel, Margaret Howth (1862), foreshadowed the naturalistic techniques of later 19th-century writers by showing how a dismal environment can warp character.
See her autobiographical Bits of Gossip (1904); biography by G. Langford (1961).
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