Book Cover
Author Davis, Rebecca Harding, 1831-1910.

Title A Rebecca Harding Davis reader : "Life in the iron-mills," selected fiction & essays / edited, with a critical introduction by Jean Pfaelzer
Published Pittsburgh : University of Pittsburgh Press, ©1995
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Description 1 online resource (li, 483 pages)
Contents The common stories of Rebecca Harding Davis, an introduction -- Fiction : Life in the iron-mills -- John Lamar -- David Gaunt -- Blind Tom -- The wife's story -- Out of the sea -- The harmonists -- The story of Christine -- In the market -- Earthen pitchers -- Dolly -- The yares of black mountains -- Marcia -- A day with Dr. Sarah -- Anne -- Essays: Men's rights -- A faded leaf of history -- The middle-aged woman -- The house on the beach -- Some testimony in the case -- Women in literature -- The newly discovered woman -- In the gray cabins of New England -- Two points of view -- Two methods with the negro -- The work before us -- The mean face of war -- Lord Kitchener's methods -- The "Black North" -- Boston in the sixties -- Undistinguished Americans
Summary Despite the need to support her husband, an impoverished young lawyer, and despite editorial pressures to exclude "unfeminine" social realities from her work, Rebecca Harding Davis refused to be silent about, as she put it, the "signification [of the] voices of the world." In the stories and essays included in this anthology, Davis gave voice to working women, slaves, freedmen, fishermen, prostitutes, wives seeking divorce, celibate utopians, and female authors. These tales entail powerful confrontations with domesticity as an ideology and sentimentality as a literary mode. As typified in her most famous story, "Life in the Iron-Mills," Davis drew creatively on a variety of literary tropes from the domestic novel, travel literature, gothic tales, and regionalism in emotional calls for reform
In both fiction and nonfiction, Davis attacked contemporary questions such as slavery, prostitution, divorce, the Spanish-American War, the colonization of Africa, the plight of the rural South, northern racism, environmental pollution, and degraded work conditions generated by the rise of heavy industry. Written from the standpoint of a critical observer in the midst of things, Davis's work vividly recreates the social and ideological ferment of post-Civil War United States
In an excellent critical introduction, Jean Pfaelzer integrates cultural, historical, and psychological approaches in penetrating readings of Davis's work. She emphasizes how Davis's fictional embrace of the commonplace was instrumental in the demise of American romanticism and in eroding the repressive cultural expectations for women
Analysis English fiction
United States
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 463-483)
Notes Print version record
Subject Domestic fiction, American.
Women iron and steel workers -- Fiction
Working class women -- Fiction.
Domestic fiction, American.
FICTION -- General.
Manners and customs.
Social conditions
Women iron and steel workers.
Working class women.
United States -- Social conditions -- 1865-1918.
United States -- Social life and customs -- 19th century -- Fiction.
United States.
Genre/Form Fiction.
Form Electronic book
Author Pfaelzer, Jean.
ISBN 0822980673
Other Titles Works. Selections. 1995