Harriet Martineau was a historical social theorist born in Norwich, England on June 12, 1802. She was one of the first female journalists and one of the first female sociologists. Martineau was a strong voice for women during the 19th century, as she was very often critical of the inequality and injustice faced by girls and women. She was also an abolitionist, who felt strongly against the concept of slavery. Harriet Martineau died of bronchitis in her home in Ambleside, which she named "The Knoll" on June 27, 1876.
Harriet Martineau was born as the 6th of 8 children in her parents' home in Norwich, England. Her Father was a textile manufacturer. Martineau's mother would be described by Harriet as a "domestic tyrant". Martineau was a generally unhealthy child due to her lack of milk as an infant. At a very young age Martineau started to slowly lose her sense of smell and taste. She would also begin to lose her hearing which became so severe that she would employ the use of an ear trumpet. Growing up as a child, she was mostly taught by her bothers and sisters. The majority of her education would be through self-studying at home. University education was restricted to men only during this time period but despite this, Martineau maintained her inquiring mind. At age 16 Harriet moved to Bristol to study at a school that her Aunt ran. It was at this school that Harriet would learn the principles of literature that would continue to support her throughout the rest of her life.
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