Harriet Martineau: Harriet Martineau's Autobiography

(985 words)
  • Valerie Sanders (University of Hull)

Harriet Martineau's Autobiography is an unusually outspoken example of the genre, particularly for a woman writing in the nineteenth century. It was composed by Martineau in the first three months of 1855 at headlong speed in the belief that she had a fatal heart disease and would hardly live to complete it. In the event, she lived for another twenty-one years, but she added nothing to the manuscript, which had already been printed and stored for posthumous publication. Her American friend and literary executor, Maria Weston Chapman, assembled a third volume consisting of personal memories, journal extracts and additional material covering the last twenty years of Martineau's life. This has remained out of print, widely dismissed …

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Sanders, Valerie. "Harriet Martineau's Autobiography". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 January 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=13038, accessed 27 November 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. Victorian Women's Writing