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Harriet Martineau

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Harriet Martineau who wrote extensively in the C19th on a wide range of subjects including abolition, and is called the mother of sociology.

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Harriet Martineau who, from a non-conformist background in Norwich, became one of the best known writers in the C19th. She had a wide range of interests and used a new, sociological method to observe the world around her, from religion in Egypt to slavery in America and the rights of women everywhere. She popularised writing about economics for those outside the elite and, for her own popularity, was invited to the coronation of Queen Victoria, one of her readers.


Valerie Sanders
Professor of English at the University of Hull

Karen O'Brien
Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford


Ella Dzelzainis
Lecturer in 19th Century Literature at Newcastle University

Producer: Simon Tillotson.

Available now

51 minutes

Last on

Thu 8 Dec 2016 21:30


Valerie Sanders at the University of Hull

Karen O'Brien at the University of Oxford

Ella Dzelzainis at Newcastle University

Martineau Society

Harriet Martineau - Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Harriet Martineau - Wikipedia



Deirdre David, Intellectual Women and Victorian Patriarchy: Harriet Martineau, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, George Eliot (Palgrave Macmillan, 1987)

Ella Dzelzainis and Cora Kaplan (eds.), Harriet Martineau: Authorship, Society and Empire (Manchester University Press, 2010)

Alexis Easley, Literary Celebrity, Gender and Victorian Authorship, 1850-1914 (University of Delaware, 2011)

Michael R. Hill and Susan Hoecker-Drysdale (eds), Harriet Martineau: Theoretical and Methodological Perspectives (Routledge, 2003)

Shelagh Hunter, Harriet Martineau and the Poetics of Moralism (Scolar Press, 1996)

Deborah A. Logan, Harriet Martineau, Victorian Imperialism and the Civilizing Mission (Routledge, 2009)

Deborah Anna Logan, The Hour and the Woman: Harriet Martineau's “Somewhat Remarkable” Life (Northern Illinois University Press, 2002)

Harriet Martineau, (ed. Linda H. Peterson), Autobiography (first published 1877; Broadview Press, 2006)

Harriet Martineau (ed. Valerie Sanders), Deerbrook: A Novel (first published 1839; Penguin Classics, 2004)

Harriet Martineau, (ed. Deborah Logan), Illustrations of Political Economy: Selected Tales (first published 1832; Broadview Press, 2004)

Karen O'Brien, Women and Enlightenment in Eighteenth-Century Britain (Cambridge University Press, 2009)

Valerie Sanders, Reason over Passion: Harriet Martineau and the Victorian Novel (Palgrave Macmillan, 1986)

Valerie Sanders and Gaby Weiner (eds.), Harriet Martineau and the Birth of Disciplines: Nineteenth-century Intellectual Powerhouse (Routledge, 2016)

R. K. Webb, Harriet Martineau: A Radical Victorian (Columbia University Press, 1960)



Role Contributor
Presenter Melvyn Bragg
Interviewed Guest Valerie Sanders
Interviewed Guest Karen O'Brien
Interviewed Guest Ella Dzelzainis
Producer Simon Tillotson


  • Thu 8 Dec 2016 09:00
  • Thu 8 Dec 2016 21:30

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