Harriet Martineau

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Harriet Martineau
Born (1802-06-12)12 June 1802
Norwich, England
Died 27 June 1876(1876-06-27) (aged 74)
Ambleside, England
Notable work(s) Deerbrook (1839)
The Hour and the Man (1839)

Harriet Martineau (12 June 1802 – 27 June 1876) was an English social theorist and writer. She is often called the first female sociologist.[1]

She wrote only one book, but many essays. The essays were sociological, religious, domestic, sexual themes, with a feminine perspective. She also translated various works from Auguste Comte.[2] She earned enough to be supported entirely by her writing.

A young Princess Victoria, (later Queen Victoria), enjoyed reading Martineaus's publications. The Queen invited Martineau to her coronation in 1838 – an event which Martineau described, in great and amusing detail, to her many readers.[3][4] Martineau has said of her own approach to writing: "when one studies a society, one must focus on all its aspects, including key political, religious, and social institutions". She believed a thorough analysis was necessary to understand woman's status under men.

One writer said "as a born lecturer and politician she [Martineau] was less affected by her sex than perhaps any other, male or female, of her generation".[2] Often described as having a masculine intellect and body, Martineau introduced feminist perspectives in her writing on otherwise overlooked issues such as marriage, children, domestic and religious life, and race relations.[1]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Hill, Michael R. 2002. Harriet Martineau: theoretical and methodological perspectives. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-94528-3
  2. 2.0 2.1 Postlethwaite, Diana (1989). "Mothering and mesmerism in the life of Harriet Martineau". Signs (University of Chicago Press) 14 (3): 583–609. 
  3. Martineau, Harriet (1877). "Harriet Martineau – Autobiography". Harriet Martineau's autobiography. Cambridge University Press. pp. 79–80). Retrieved 10 February 2013. How delighted the Princess Victoria was with my 'Series'
  4. Wilson, Christopher. "The benefits of a feminist in the family". Retrieved 10 February 2013.