Correspondence, literary manuscripts and other papers of Harriet Martineau (1802-1876), writer. This collection comprises a substantial quantity of correspondence of Harriet Martineau with contemporary authors and writers, politicians, journalists and other public figures. The letters document her activities and contributions as a social and political commentator, journalist and literary writer and as a feminist intellectual and contain a wealth of information about her philosophies and concerning such issues as women' rights, improved access to health and education, better working conditions and practices, particularly for domestic, agricultural and factory workers, and emancipation and abolition of slavery.
Correspondents include Matthew Arnold, William Edward Forster, Elizabeth Gaskell, William Gladstone, Robert Graves, Florence Nightingale, Lord John Russell, and Henry William Wilberforce. The collection also contains her correspondence with important publishers and editors for whom she wrote leaders and articles. These include Sir Richard Robinson, Thomas Walker and William Weir of the Daily News, John Chapman of the Westminster Review and Henry Reeve of the Edinburgh Review. The correspondence also includes letters to and from other members of the Martineau family including Helen, Richard, Russell, Susan and Thomas Martineau. The collection also contains a number of her literary and other manuscripts including autograph manuscripts of her Autobiography, History of England during the Thirty Years Peace, 1816-1846, A Tale of the Tyne and Poor Laws and Paupers. Other manuscript writings include articles such as Modern Domestic Service, Salem Witchcraft, What can Women Do? and notes on medical matters, education, strikes and political views. Most of the items in this collection are mounted in fascicules.