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Guide to the Harriet Martineau Letters, 1868-1876 and undated

Summary

Harriet Martineau was a British social theorist and Whig writer, often cited as the first female sociologist. Collection comprises 21 letters written by Harriet Martineau from Ambleside between 1868 and 1876, primarily to Mr. (John?) Robinson, with one letter to Prime Minister Gladstone regarding her rejection of a pension (1873 June 3). A few letters are incomplete. In addition, there are four undated fragments of letters. Topics include the republishing of her biographical sketches originally published in the Daily Mail; scandals of the period, particularly the Harriet Beecher Stowe-Lady Byron scandal and the John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor scandal, along with Martineau's associated writings; re-publication of Eastern Life: Present & Past and her holding of copyright; the 2nd edition of Traditions of Palestine; and the autobiography of Brougham and its errors about Martineau and her family, which she wishes corrected in the Daily News. Other topics include liberal politics, religion, her declining health and need of a companion and servants, her rejection of a pension, and planned meetings with Robinson, as well as condolences sent on the death of his son. There is an additional letter written on behalf of Martineau by Miss Goodwin to an unidentified addressee, regarding politics and Martineau's health (1873 February 20).

Collection Details

Collection Number
RL.11652
Title
Harriet Martineau letters,
Date
1868-1876 and undated
Creator
Martineau, Harriet, 1802-1876
Extent
0.1 Linear Feet, 26 items
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Language
Materials in English

Collection Overview

Collection comprises 21 letters written by Harriet Martineau from Ambleside between 1868 and 1876, primarily to Mr. (John?) Robinson, with one letter to Prime Minister Gladstone regarding her rejection of a pension (1873 June 3). A few letters are incomplete. In addition, there are four undated fragments of letters. Topics include the republishing of her biographical sketches originally published in the Daily Mail; scandals of the period, particularly the Harriet Beecher Stowe-Lady Byron scandal and the John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor scandal, along with Martineau's associated writings; re-publication of Eastern Life: Present & Past and her holding of copyright; the 2nd edition of Traditions of Palestine; and the autobiography of Brougham and its errors about Martineau and her family, which she wishes corrected in the Daily News. Other topics include liberal politics, religion, her declining health and need of a companion and servants, her rejection of a pension, and planned meetings with Robinson, as well as condolences sent on the death of his son. There is an additional letter written on behalf of Martineau by Miss Goodwin to an unidentified addressee, regarding politics and Martineau's health (1873 February 20).

More Biographical / Historical Info

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.

Using These Materials

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warning Access to the Collection

Collection is open for research.

warning Use & Permissions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

More copyright and citation information

How to Cite

[Identification of item], Harriet Martineau Letters, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

Letters
Folder 1
 

Historical Note

Harriet Martineau was a British social theorist and Whig writer, often cited as the first female sociologist. Martineau wrote many books and a multitude of essays from a sociological, holistic, religious, domestic, and feminine perspective; she also translated various works by Auguste Comte. She earned enough to support herself entirely by her writing.


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Provenance

The Harriet Martineau Letters were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in 2015.

Processing Information

Processed by Alice Poffinberger, July, 2018

Accessions described in this collection guide: 2015-0050-LUBMSS299, 2015-0050-LUBMSS300, 2015-0050-LUBMSS301, 2015-0050-LUBMSS302, 2015-0050-LUBMSS303, 2015-0050-LUBMSS304, 2015-0050-LUBMSS305, 2015-0050-LUBMSS306, 2015-0050-LUBMSS307, 2015-0050-LUBMSS308, 2015-0050-LUBMSS309, 2015-0050-LUBMSS310, 2015-0050-LUBMSS311, 2015-0050-LUBMSS312, 2015-0050-LUBMSS313, 2015-0050-LUBMSS314, 2015-0050-LUBMSS315, 2015-0050-LUBMSS316, 2015-0050-LUBMSS317, 2015-0050-LUBMSS318, 2015-0050-LUBMSS319, 2015-0050-LUBMSS320, 2015-0050-LUBMSS321, 2015-0050-LUBMSS322, 2015-0050-LUBMSS323, 2015-0050-LUBMSS233.