Rebecca Blaine Harding Davis was an American author and journalist. She is deemed a pioneer of literary realism in American literature. She graduated valedictorian from Washington Female Seminary in Pennsylvania. Her most important literary work is the novella Life in the Iron Mills, published in the April 1861 edition of the Atlantic Monthly which quickly made her an established female writer. Throughout her lifetime, Harding Davis sought to effect social change for blacks, women, Native Americans, immigrants, and the working class, by intentionally writing about the plight of these marginalized groups in the 19th century.