Harriet Martineau(1802-1876), Social philosopher and writer; sister of James Martineau
Sitter in 8 portraits
Troubled by poverty and ill health in childhood, Martineau sent articles, stories and poems to magazines to earn money for her family. An anti-slavery campaigner, she travelled to America in 1834 but met hostility in the north and had to end her visit in 1835. She wrote Society in America (1837) to describe her experiences and How to Observe Morals and Manners (1838) to advise other travellers. One of few women to attempt a full-scale autobiography at this time, many contemporaries found her professional success unpalatable, prompting the writer Margaret Oliphant to describe the book as a 'terrible instrument of self-murder'. She was also ridiculed for her growing interest in mesmerism (hypnosis).