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.
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The Nineteenth Century Series aims to develop and promote new approaches and fresh directions in scholarship and criticism on nineteenth-century literature and culture. The series encourages work which erodes the traditional boundary between Romantic and Victorian studies and welcomes interdisciplinary approaches to the literary, religious, scientific and visual cultures of the period. While British literature and culture are the core subject matter of monographs and collections in the series, the editors encourage proposals which explore the wider, international contexts of nineteenth-century literature – transatlantic, European and global. Print culture, including studies in the newspaper and periodical press, book history, life writing and gender studies are particular strengths of this established series as are high quality single author studies. The series also embraces research in the field of digital humanities. The editors invite proposals from both younger and established scholars in all areas of nineteenth-century literary studies.