Harriet Martineau: Illustrations of Political Economy (988 words)

Valerie Sanders (University of Hull)
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Harriet Martineau's Illustrations of Political Economy (1832-4) were a series of twenty-four didactic short tales (with a further volume of summary) whose publication brought her instant success and public notoriety as a writer. In Volume I of her Autobiography she tells the extraordinary story of how she battled to find a publisher, convinced that the public “needed” the series which was designed to teach the principles of political economy by means of illustrative stories set in a variety of social communities. Charles Fox, the publisher who finally accepted the work, was gloomy about its prospects, and imposed harsh terms, which included the requirement that she find subscribers to back her project. In the event, …

Sanders, Valerie. "Illustrations of Political Economy". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 January 2004
[https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=9840, accessed 15 September 2019.]

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  1. Victorian Women's Writing

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