Scope and Content

Henry Reeve, Harriet Martineau's cousin, was editor of the 'Edinburgh Review' during the period Martineau wrote for the periodical. With the exception of the first and the last few items, all the correspondence in this collection is from Martineau to Henry Reeve. Since she was housebound and no longer travelling during the period when these letters were written, it is safe to assume that, where place is not listed, the location was at her home, the Knoll, in Ambleside.

Other correspondents:

one letter from Emma Sargeant (1901);

one folded sheet of Receipts and Expenditure (1853) [very fragile];

printed 'Journal of Natural Appearances and Occurrences in Farming' (1808-1838) annotated by Harriet Martineau for the years 1839 to 1845.

The correspondence was originally housed in a box and has been removed for preservation reasons. The box has been retained as 7HRM/2/140.

In compiling the descriptions of these letters the following conventions have been observed:

one sheet means one page folded in half, providing four sides on which to write. letters that are black-bordered, indicating a period of mourning, are noted; otherwise, letters are on plain paper.

Martineau often used a colon - : - where we might use a semi-colon - ; - and apparently used them interchangeably. Also, her capitalization is sometimes unconventional, and has been transcribed as written, though some manuscript notations were difficult to differentiate.

Martineau's paragraph divisions are not always clearly discernable.