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Early life[ edit ] The house in which Harriet Martineau was born. The sixth of eight children, Harriet Martineau was born in NorwichEngland, where her father Thomas was a textile manufacturer. A highly respected Unitarianhe was also deacon of the Octagon Chapel, Norwich from The Martineau family was of French Huguenot ancestry and professed Unitarian views.
Her uncles included the surgeon Philip Meadows Martineau —whom she had enjoyed visiting at his nearby estate, Bracondale Lodge and businessman and benefactor Peter Finch Martineau.
According to the writer Diana Postlethwaite, Harriet's relationship with her mother was strained and lacking affection, which contributed to views expressed in her later writing. Her ideas on domesticity and the "natural faculty for housewifery", as described in her book Household Education stemmed from her lack of nurture growing up.
Although their relationship was better in adulthood, Harriet saw her mother as the antithesis of the warm and nurturing qualities which she knew to be necessary for girls at an early age.
Her mother urged all her children to be well read, but at the same time opposed female pedantics "with a sharp eye for feminine propriety and good manners. Her daughters could never be seen in public with a pen in their hand.
It was the beginning of many health problems in her life. In she began to write anonymously for the Monthly Repositorya Unitarian periodical, and in she published Devotional Exercises and Addresses, Prayers and Hymns. Inthe family's textile business failed.
Along with her needlework, she began selling her articles to the Monthly Repository, earning accolades, including three essay prizes from the Unitarian Association. Her regular work with the Repository helped establish her as a reliable and popular freelance writer.
In Martineau's Autobiography, she reflects on her success as a writer and her father's business failure, which she describes as "one of the best things that ever happened to us". She described how she could then "truly live instead of vegetate". Illustrations was published in February in an edition of just copies, since the publisher assumed it would not sell well.
Yet it very quickly became highly successful, and would steadily out-sell the work of Charles Dickens. Illustrations was her first work to receive widespread acclaim, and its success served to spread the free-market ideas of Adam Smith and others throughout the British Empire.
Martineau then agreed to compose a series of similar monthly stories over a period of two years, the work being hastened by having her brother James also work on the series with her. Martineau relied on Malthus to form her view of the tendency of human population to exceed its means of subsistence.
However, in stories such as "Weal and Woe in Garvelock", she promoted the idea of population control through what Malthus referred to as "voluntary checks" such as voluntary chastity and delayed marriages. London and the United States[ edit ] In the early 19th century, most social institutions and norms were strongly shaped by gender, or the perception of what was appropriate for men versus for women.
Writing was no exception; non-fiction works about social, economic and political issues were dominated by men, while limited areas, such as romance fiction, and topics dealing with domesticity were considered to be appropriate for women authors.
In Martineau moved to London.
Among her acquaintances were: Until Martineau was occupied with her brother James on the political economy series, as well as a supplemental series of Poor Laws and Paupers Illustrated and Illustrations of Taxation which was intended to directly influence government policy.Review of the Movie "Pulp Fiction" by Quentin Tarantino - A soft, moist, shapeless mass of matter.
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