Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964517 | Print ISBN: 9781412909167 | Online ISBN: 9781412964517| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Martineau, Harriet (1802-1876)
Harriet Martineau was born to a middle-class manufacturer in Norwich, England. Her childhood might be best described as sickly, resulting in near complete deafness by age 12. Martineau's Unitarian parents emphasized education and social awareness for all of their children. While Martineau's schooling was not of the same caliber of her brothers,' she received informal instruction in writing, math, French, and Latin and 2 years of formal master's education in French and Latin. Not all of Martineau's father's business practices were consistent with the emerging capitalist economy. He adhered to profit sharing for his employees, even as England entered an economic crisis in the 1820s. As the family's wealth declined, Martineau became fascinated with political economy. Most middle-class Victorian women saw marriage as the antidote for economic uncertainty. Martineau, however, became a professional writer. Martineau was an established author when she began her 25-volume work, Illustrations in Political Economy Illustrations ...