Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)HMLAdd
TitleLetters Additional of Harriet Martineau
Extent263 items
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DescriptionArtificial collection of letters and other papers of and relating to Harriet Martineau (1802-1876), and other members of the Martineau family.
NotesPhotograph at Fonds level of Harriet Martineau, reference HMLAdd/144.
ArrangementThis collection is catalogued at item or file level and the individual documents are numbered in a single numerical sequence which reflects the order in which they were acquired.
Access ConditionsAccess to all registered researchers
Finding AidsA catalogue of this collection is available on the online archive catalogue. Click on the Finding Number to display the summary contents list of the catalogue and to view the full catalogue. A paper copy is also available in the Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections Department.
Access StatusOpen
Physical DescriptionThe items in this collection are mounted in fascicules, and contained within one box.
Administrative HistoryHarriet Martineau (1802-1876) was a political economist, author, journalist, social commentator and leading feminist intellectual. She published widely and her publications included popular works on economics, several novels, and various children's stories. She was also a regular contributor to and editorial writer for the 'Daily News' and 'Edinburgh Review'.

She was born in Norwich in 1802, the sixth child of Thomas Martineau and Elizabeth Rankin Martineau. She began her literary career at a young age and her first her first article on 'Female Writers on Practical Divinity' appeared in the Unitarian periodical, 'The Monthly Repository' in 1821. Her first major successful work was 'Illustrations of Political Economy' (1832-34), which was quickly followed by 'Poor Law and Paupers Illustrated' (1833), and 'Illustrations of Taxation' (1834). She visited America between 1834 and 1836 and on her return wrote 'Society in America' (1837) and 'Retrospect of Western Travel' (1838). She continued to travel, visiting Italy, Egypt and Palestine, after which she published 'Eastern Life' (1848). Later publications included 'History of England during the Thirty Years' Peace' (1849) and a translation of Comte's 'Philosophie Positive' (1853). She lived initially in London then moved for a short time to Tynemouth near Newcastle to be near her brother but from the 1840s lived at Ambleside in the Lake District.

Harriet Martineau was an exceptional correspondent throughout her life and exchanged letters not just with publishers but also with political, literary and other prominent individuals of the time. She suffered from ill health for many years and also had impaired hearing. During her later life she was cared for by her nieces, most notably Maria Martineau.
AcquisitionMost items in this collection have been acquired by purchase as a means of complementing and supporting the large personal archive of Harriet Martineau, known as the Harriet Martineau Collection (ref: HM). The collection also includes a number of gifts and deposits and photocopies of originals held elsewhere. For information about the provenance of specific items, please contact the Cadbury Research Library for further details.
CopiesPart of this collection is available on microfilm and online.

Microfilm copies:

HMLAdd/1-102 were filmed by Adam Matthew Publications as part of the micropublication of the collected papers of Harriet Martineau, titled: 'Women, Emancipation and Literature'.

A reference set of the microfilm is available for consultation in the Cadbury Research Library. All visitors who have registered for a Cadbury Research Library Reader ticket will be able to use the microfilm copies.

Online access:

The microfilm has been digitally published under the title: ‘Research Source – Women’s Studies: Women, Emancipation and Literature: The Papers of Harriet Martineau, 1802-1876’: Harriet Martineau: Additional Letters.

Online access is open to members of, and visitors to, institutions that subscribe to Adam Matthew Digital products. Free four-week trials of Adam Matthew Digital products are open to teachers, faculty and librarians of universities, colleges, and academic institutions.

All visitors who have registered for a Cadbury Research Library Reader ticket can access the online copies on the public access computers in the Cadbury Research Library Reading Room.

Staff and students of the University of Birmingham may also access the products when off campus through the University’s eResources. Log in through FindIt@Bham, select Database Search and enter ‘Women’s Studies’.

For institutions that do not currently subscribe to this Adam Matthew Digital product, further information about trial access is available at
Related MaterialThe Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections also holds the Harriet Martineau collection, reference: HM. The Harriet Martineau collection, reference: HM, was presented by Sir Wilfred Martineau and his brother in 1961 and supplementary material has been received from other family members, most notably in 1981 by the Misses Martineau. The collection including manuscripts of some of her own works and a great many letters to Harriet Martineau. Some of these deal with publishing matters, but there are also many from illustrious contemporaries such as Matthew Arnold, Florence Nightingale, Mrs Gaskell and W. E. Gladstone.

There are also items related to Harriet Martineau in the Martineau family papers collection, reference: HMM.
Associated MaterialsLetters of Harriet Martineau are found in collections around the world. In addition to our large holdings, another large collection is at the University of California Library, Berkeley campus.
Publication NoteA short article appears in the University of Birmingham 'Research Libraries Bulletin' 2, Autumn 1994, about an addition of 60 items to this collection which were acquired, by purchase, from Bernard Quaritch Ltd which have been catalogued as HMLAdd/111-171.

Various books have been published about Harriet Martineau including R. K.Webb, 'Harriet Martineau : a radical Victorian' (London, Heinemann; New York, Columbia University Press, 1960) and Valerie Kossew Pichanick 'Harriet Martineau, the woman and her work, 1802-76' (Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, c1980). Martineau's autobiography was published posthumously in 1877 under the title 'Harriet Martineau's Autobiography with memorials' by Maria Weston Chapman and a copy is available in the Special Collections Department (rDA3.M4). It has also been reissued with a new introduction by Gaby Weiner (London, Virago,1983). In addition, some of her letters have been published: 'Harriet Martineau: selected letters' edited by Valerie Sanders (Oxford, Clarendon, 1990).


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