Miss Harriet Martineau

Gender: Female

Marital Status: Single

Born: 1802

Died: 1876

Place of birth: Norwich, Norfolk, England

Occupation: Sociologist and writer

1866 Petition: Yes

Petition Area: The Knoll, Cumbria, England


Other sources: https://www.parliament.uk/1866
Michael Hill and Susan Hoecker-Drysdale, Harriet Martineau: Theoretical and Methodological Perspectives (2003)

Further Information:

Family information: Father was a textile manufacturer.

Additional Information: Harriet remained a quiet supporter of the women's suffrage movement.

Other Suffrage Activities: Harriet had been forced to leave the family home and work when her father's manufacturing business failed. She described this as 'the best thing that ever happened'. She began selling articles to monthly magazines and quickly built a reputation for her social and political insight. A sociologist, she was outspoken in her writings on many issues, including the restrictions on women's education, social life and intellectual development. Her first commissioned book was Illustrations of Political Economy and she went on to publish many more. Her circle of friends included scientists such as Charles Darwin. The popularity of her works meant that she earned a living from her writing ? a significant achievement for a woman in this period. Her work was known and drew praise and condemnation in equal measure from male politicians, economists and social commentators of the day.

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