Harriet Martineau

English writer and sociologist (1802–1876) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Harriet Martineau (12 June 1802 – 27 June 1876) was an English social theorist often seen as the first female sociologist.[3] She wrote from a sociological, holistic, religious and feminine angle, translated works by Auguste Comte, and, rarely for a woman writer at the time, earned enough to support herself.[4] The young Princess Victoria enjoyed her work and invited her to her 1838 coronation.[5][6] Martineau advised "a focus on all [society's] aspects, including key political, religious, and social institutions". She applied thorough analysis to women's status under men. The novelist Margaret Oliphant called her "a born lecturer and politician... less distinctively affected by her sex than perhaps any other, male or female, of her generation."[4]

Quick facts: Harriet Martineau, Born, Died, Burial place, ...
Harriet Martineau
Martineau by Richard Evans, prepared by Sir Thomas Lawrence
Born(1802-06-12)12 June 1802
Norwich, Norfolk, England
Died27 June 1876(1876-06-27) (aged 74)
Burial placeKey Hill Cemetery in Birmingham, England
Educationself-directed education due to patriarchy
EraEarly and Mid-Victorian Period
Known forThorough exploration in political, religious and social institutions, as well as the work and roles of women
Political partyWhig
PartnerJohn Hugh Worthington (engaged)
  • Thomas Martineau (father)
  • Elizabeth Rankin (mother)
RelativesPeter Finch Martineau (uncle)
Thomas Michael Greenhow (brother-in-law)
Catherine Middleton (5 X great-niece)[2]
Writing career
Notable worksIllustrations of Political Economy (1834)
Society in America (1837)
Deerbrook (1839)
The Hour and the Man (1841)

Her lifelong commitment to the abolitionist movement has seen Martineau's celebrity and achievements remain particularly relevant to American institutions of higher learning such as Northwestern University with its Methodist foundations.[7][8][9] When unveiling a statue of Martineau in December 1883 at the Old South Church in Boston, Wendell Phillips referred to her as the "greatest American abolitionist".[10] Martineau's statue was gifted to Wellesley College in 1886.[11]

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