Harriet Martineau: Deerbrook

(1009 words)
  • Valerie Sanders (University of Hull)

Harriet Martineau's Deerbrook – unkindly described by the journalist John Morley as “one of the books that give a rational person pleasure once, but which we hardly look forward to reading again” – is her only attempt at a three-volume Victorian domestic realistic novel. In her Autobiography, Martineau describes it as highly unusual for its time in focusing on middle-class life. In this respect, it occupies an important transitional place between the novels of Jane Austen (which Martineau admired) and those of Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, and Elizabeth Gaskell, all of whom are known to have read and enjoyed Martineau's novel. Set in the fictitious village of Deerbrook, the novel concerns two recently-orphaned,…

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Sanders, Valerie. "Deerbrook". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 January 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=9841, accessed 29 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Victorian Women's Writing