One of the foremost writers of her time, Harriet Martineau established her reputation by writing a hugely successful series of fictional tales on political economy whose wide readership included the young Queen Victoria. She went on to write fiction and nonfiction; books, articles and pamphlets; popular travel books and more insightful analyses. Martineau wrote in the middle decades of the nineteenth century, at a time when new disciplines and areas of knowledge were being established. Bringing together scholars of literature, history, economics and sociology, this volume demonstrates the scope of Martineau's writing and its importance to nineteenth-century politics and culture. Reflecting Martineau's prodigious achievements, the essays explore her influence on the emerging fields of sociology, history, education, science, economics, childhood, the status of women, disability studies, journalism, travel writing, life writing and letter writing. As a woman contesting Victorian patriarchal relations, Martineau was controversial in her own lifetime and has still not received the recognition that is due her. This wide-ranging collection confirms her place as one of the leading intellectuals, cultural theorists and commentators of the nineteenth century.
Valerie Sanders is Professor of English at the University of Hull, UK.
Gaby Weiner is Visiting Professor at the University of Sussex, UK.