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Harriet Martineau   By:

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Harriet Martineau by Florence Fenwick Miller is a comprehensive and engaging biography of an extraordinary woman whose influence on the social and political landscape of 19th-century England cannot be overstated.

Miller delves deep into Martineau's life, starting with her childhood in Norwich, where she faced numerous challenges as a deaf woman in a time when disabilities were often looked down upon. Despite these obstacles, Martineau's passion for learning and her determination to make a difference in society shone through from a young age.

Throughout the book, Miller skillfully weaves together personal anecdotes, letters, and Martineau's own writings, painting a vivid picture of her subject's multifaceted personality. Martineau's unwavering commitment to equality and her relentless pursuit of justice are evident in her prolific writings on various social issues, such as women's rights, slavery, and the working class.

What sets this biography apart is the author's ability to situate Martineau within the historical context of her time. Miller provides a detailed account of the political and societal developments that Martineau witnessed and actively participated in, making her biography not just a portrait of an individual, but a nuanced exploration of the era itself.

One of the most impressive aspects of Miller's book is her unwavering attention to detail. Every aspect of Martineau's life is meticulously researched, resulting in a remarkably informative and authoritative biography. From her travels abroad to her relationships with influential figures such as Charles Darwin and Florence Nightingale, every facet of Martineau's life is examined with a keen eye, shedding light on the interplay between her personal experiences and her intellectual pursuits.

While Miller's admiration for Martineau is evident throughout the book, she does not shy away from addressing the less favorable aspects of her subject's life. Martineau's sometimes austere and uncompromising nature, as well as her strained relationships with family members and friends, are presented with objective analysis, allowing readers to form their own opinions about Martineau's character.

Moreover, Miller tackles the complexities of Martineau's controversial views on certain issues, including her support for imperialism and her distaste for organized religion. By exploring the nuances of Martineau's beliefs, Miller reveals the complexity of her subject's character and provides a more rounded understanding of her motivations and ideology.

In conclusion, Harriet Martineau by Florence Fenwick Miller is a superbly written biography that uncovers the remarkable life and contributions of a woman ahead of her time. Miller's meticulous research and insightful analysis make this biography an essential read for those interested in the history of feminism, social justice, and the intellectual landscape of Victorian England. Whether you are already familiar with Martineau's work or discovering her for the first time, this book is an excellent introduction to her life and legacy.

First Page:

Famous Women.


Already published :

GEORGE ELIOT. By Miss Blind. EMILY BRONTË. By Miss Robinson. GEORGE SAND. By Miss Thomas. MARY LAMB. By Mrs. Gilchrist. MARGARET FULLER. By Julia Ward Howe. MARIA EDGEWORTH. By Miss Zimmern. ELIZABETH FRY. By Mrs. E. R. Pitman. THE COUNTESS OF ALBANY. By Vernon Lee. MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT. By Mrs. E. R. Pennell. HARRIET MARTINEAU. By Mrs. F. Fenwick Miller. RACHEL. By Mrs. Nina H. Kennard. MADAME ROLAND. By Mathilde Blind. SUSANNA WESLEY. By Eliza Clarke. MARGARET OF ANGOULÊME. By Miss Robinson. MRS. SIDDONS. By Mrs. Nina H. Kennard. MADAME DE STAËL. By Bella Duffy.

[Illustration: FAMOUS WOMEN]




Copyright, 1884 , BY ROBERTS BROTHERS.



The material for this biographical and critical sketch of Harriet Martineau and her works has been drawn from a variety of sources. Some of it is quite new. Her own Autobiography was completed in 1855; and there has not hitherto been anything at all worth calling a record of the twenty one years during which she lived and worked after that date. Even as regards the earlier period, although, of course I have drawn largely for facts upon the Autobiography , yet I have found much that is new to relate... Continue reading book >>

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