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Rebecca Harding Davis (1831-1910)

Rebecca Harding Davis: Selected Secondary Bibliography (updated 5/22/12)
Davis on Hawthorne, Emerson, and Bronson Alcott (pp. 33-37 from Bits of Gossip)

Rebecca Harding Davis Society site.
Biographical information and bibliographical information from Professor Janice Lasseter, Samford University. A shorter version is available at the Legacy site.
Introduction to Davis's Bits of Gossip at Documenting the American South
Brief biographical sketch and contexts for "Life in the Iron Mills" from the Public Media Foundation.
Teaching Rebecca Harding Davis from the Heath Anthology site

Chronology of works and brief biographical sketch from answers.com

Picture courtesy of Legacy's American Women Writers Site

Works Available Online (Note: Links in BOLD lead to page images at MOA)

"Life in the Iron Mills" (from Project Gutenberg)
Life in the Iron Mills (Atlantic, April 1861)

"Anne."Harper's New Monthly Magazine 78 (April 1889): 744-750.  Anne. A Story
Are Women to Blame? (North American Review, 1889)
"At The Station" (Scribner's, 1888)
Ben (Putnam's, 1870)
Bits of Gossip (1904) (memoir, including stories about the Alcotts) (Google Books edition)
"Boston in the Sixties" from Bits of Gossip (1904)
"Blind Tom." Atlantic Monthly, volume 10, November 1862.
By-Paths in the Mountains. Harper's New Monthly Magazine, vol. 61, issue 363 (August 1880).
By-Paths in the Mountains (I)  By-Paths in the Mountains (II) By-Paths in the Mountains (III)
"The Captain's Story" (after 1861) from the Gaslight site.
The Curse in Education (North American Review, 1899)
Dallas Galbraith (1868) (Google books)
A Day With Doctor Sarah (Harper's, 1878)

Doctor Warrick's Daughters (novel; 1896)
Earthen Pitchers (Scribner's, Nov. 1873)
Earthen Pitchers (Scribner's, Dec. 1873)
Earthen Pitchers (Scribner's, Jan. 1874)
Earthen Pitchers (Scribner's, Feb. 1874)
Earthen Pitchers (Scribner's, Mar. 1874)
Earthen Pitchers (Scribner's, Apr. 1874)
 "A Faded Leaf of History" (Atlantic, 1873)
Frances Waldeaux (1897) (at Google Books)
"General William Wirt Colby"
Hand to Hand (Galaxy, March 1870)
"The Harmonists" Atlantic 17 (May 1866)
Here and There In the South (Harper's, July 1887)
Here and There In the South (Harper's, Aug. 1887)
Here and There In the South (Harper's, Sept. 1887)
Here and There In the South (Harper's, Oct. 1887)
Here and There In the South (Harper's, Nov. 1887)
An Ignoble Martyr. A Story (Harper's, Mar. 1890) "An Ignoble Martyr." Harper's New Monthly Magazine 80 (Mar. 1890): 604-610.
In the Gray Cabins of New England (Century, Feb. 1895)

John Andross (1874) (at Google Books)
Jane Murray's Thanksgiving Story"(The Independent  30 November 1905 )

Kent Hampden (adolescent novel; 1892) (at Google Books)
"Life in the Iron Mills" (from Project Gutenberg)
Mademoiselle Joan (Atlantic, Sept. 1886)
The Man In the Cage (Harper's, Dec. 1877)
Marcia (Harper's, Nov. 1876)
Margret Howth: A Story of To-Day (1862) (Virginia edition with original page numbers)

--A Story of To-Day. Atlantic Monthly 8, no. 48 (October 1861): 471-486. Part 1.
-- A Story of To-Day. The Atlantic Monthly Volume 0008 Issue 49 (November 1861), November 1861, pp. 582-598.
-- A Story of To-Day. The Atlantic Monthly Volume 0008 Issue 50 (December 1861) / Volume 8, Issue: 50, December 1861, pp. 707-718
-- A Story of To-Day. The Atlantic Monthly Volume 0009 Issue 51 (January 1862) / Volume 9, Issue: 51, January 1862, pp. 40-52
-- A Story of To-Day. The Atlantic Monthly Volume 0009 Issue 52 (February 1862) / Volume 9, Issue: 52, February 1862, pp. 202-214
-- A Story of To-Day. The Atlantic Monthly Volume 0009 Issue 53 (March 1862) / Volume 9, Issue: 53, March 1862, pp. 282-299
Married People (Harper's, Apr. 1877)
"A Middle-Aged Woman." The Independent 57, No. 2909 (1 September 1904)
Natasqua (Scribner's, Nov. 1870)
Natasqua (Scribner's, Jan. 1871)
Natasqua (Scribner's, Dec. 1870)
A November Afternoon (Galaxy, Dec. 1869)
Old Landmarks in Philadelphia (Scribner's, July 1876)
"An Old-Time Love Story." Century Magazine 77 (Dec. 1908): 219-221.
Old Philadelphia (Harper's, May 1876)
Old Philadelphia (Harper's, Apr. 1876)
One Week an Editor." Galaxy 16, No. 5 (November 1873): 652-661.One Week an Editor
A Silhouette (Harper's, Sept. 1883)

Silhouettes of American Life (1892) (at Google Books). NewStory collection contents:

  • At the Station
  • Tirar y Soult
  • Walhalla
  • The Doctor's Wife
  • Anne
  • An Ignoble Martyr
  • Across the Gulf
  • A Wayside Episode
  • Mademoiselle Joan
  • The End of the Vendetta
  • A Faded Leaf of History
  • The Yares of the Black Mountains
  • Marcia

Some Testimony in the Case (Atlantic, Nov. 1885)
Story of a Shadow (Galaxy, Apr. 1872)
A Story of the Plague (Harper's, Feb. 1879)
A Sunday in Limeburgh (Scribner's, Feb. 1878)
Tirar Y Soult (Scribner's, Nov. 1887)
Two Women (Galaxy, June 1870)
University Extension in Canterbury. A Story (Harper's, Apr. 1893)

Waiting for the Verdict (novel; 1868) (Google books)
 Waiting for the Verdict (Galaxy, 15 Feb. 1867)
Waiting for the Verdict (Galaxy, 1 Mar. 1867)
Waiting for the Verdict (Galaxy, 15 Mar. 1867)
Waiting for the Verdict (Galaxy, 1 April 1867)
Waiting for the Verdict (Galaxy, 15 April 1867)
Waiting for the Verdict (Galaxy, May 1867)
Waiting for the Verdict (Galaxy, June 1867)
Waiting for the Verdict (Galaxy, July 1867)
Waiting for the Verdict (Galaxy, Aug. 1867)
Waiting for the Verdict (Galaxy, Sept. 1867)
Waiting for the Verdict (Galaxy, Oct. 1867)
Waiting for the Verdict (Galaxy, Nov. 1867)
Waiting for the Verdict (Galaxy, Dec. 1867)
"Walhalla."Scribner's Monthly 20 (May 1880): 139-145. Walhalla
"The Wife's Story" (Atlantic, 1864).
 William M. Baker (Century, May 1884)

Davis on Hawthorne, Emerson, and Bronson Alcott (pp. 33-37 from Bits of Gossip)

  I remember listening during one long summer morning to Louisa Alcott's father as he chanted pæans to the war, the "armed angel which was wakening the nation to a lofty life unknown before."

        We were in the little parlor of the Wayside, Mr. Hawthorne's house in Concord. Mr. Alcott stood in front of the fireplace, his long gray hair streaming over his collar, his pale eyes turning quickly from one listener to another to hold them quiet, his hands waving to keep time with the orotund sentences which had a stale, familiar ring as if often repeated before. Mr. Emerson stood listening, his head sunk on his breast, with profound submissive attention, but Hawthorne sat astride of a chair, his arms folded on the back, his chin dropped on them, and his laughing, sagacious eyes watching us, full of mockery.

        I had just come up from the border where I had seen the actual war; the filthy spewings of it; the political jobbery in Union and Confederate camps; the malignant personal hatreds wearing patriotic masks, and glutted by burning homes and outraged women; the chances in it, well improved on both sides, for brutish men to grow more brutish, and for honorable gentlemen to degenerate into thieves and sots. War may be an armed angel with a mission, but she has the personal habits of the slums. This would-be seer who was talking of it, and the real seer who listened, knew no more of war as it was, than I had done in my cherry-tree when I dreamed of bannered legions of crusaders debouching in the misty fields.

        Mr. Hawthorne at last gathered himself up lazily to his feet, and said quietly: "We cannot see that thing at so long a range. Let us go to dinner," and Mr. Alcott suddenly checked the droning flow of his prophecy and quickly led the way to the dining-room.

        Early that morning when his lank, gray figure had first appeared at the gate, Mr. Hawthorne said: "Here comes the Sage of Concord. He is anxious to know what kind of human beings come up from the back hills in Virginia. Now I will tell you," his eyes gleaming with fun, "what he will talk to you about. Pears. Yes. You may begin at Plato or the day's news, and he will come around to pears. He is now convinced that a vegetable diet affects both the body and soul, and that pears exercise a more direct and ennobling influence on us than any other vegetable or fruit. Wait. You'll hear presently."

  When we went in to dinner, therefore, I was surprised to see the sage eat heartily of the fine sirloin of beef set before us. But with the dessert he began to advocate a vegetable diet and at last announced the spiritual influence of pears, to the great delight of his host, who laughed like a boy and was humored like one by the gentle old man.

        Whether Alcott, Emerson, and their disciples discussed pears or the war, their views gave you the same sense of unreality, of having been taken, as Hawthorne said, at too long a range. You heard much sound philosophy and many sublime guesses at the eternal verities; in fact, never were the eternal verities so dissected and pawed over and turned inside out as they were about that time, in Boston, by Margaret Fuller and her successors. But the discussion left you with a vague, uneasy sense that something was lacking, some back-bone of fact. Their theories were like beautiful bubbles blown from a child's pipe, floating overhead, with queer reflections on them of sky and earth and human beings, all in a glow of fairy color and all a little distorted.

 Mr. Alcott once showed me an arbor which he had built with great pains and skill for Mr. Emerson to "do his thinking in." It was made of unbarked saplings and boughs, a tiny round temple, two storied, with chambers in which were seats, a desk, etc., all very artistic and complete, except that he had forgotten to make any door. You could look at it and admire it, but nobody could go in or use it. It seemed to me a fitting symbol for this guild of prophets and their scheme of life.

Comments to D. Campbell.