Rebecca Harding Davis had no firsthand experience of iron mills. Neither does her nameless narrator.
Studies show that college-educated white Americans value having choice -- and yet having too much choice can paralyze and lead to dissatisfaction.
On May 10th, 1849, protestors rioted at Astor Place Opera House, leading to the deadliest civic insurrection in American history up to that time.
Arthur Munby was an upper-class man of letters who "collected" working class women, including his servant Hannah Cullwick, whom he married in 1873.