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Old 07-09-2016, 02:23 AM   #1
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Martineau, Harriet: Retrospect of Western Travel, v1, 9 Jul 2016

Harriet Martineau was born in 1802, the sixth of eight children, to a Unitarian family of Huguenot background. Despite being deaf for most of her life she was a prolific author and traveller, abolitionist, feminist, sociologist, and political commentator, and one of the first woman journalists. Her clear and simple style and her ability to explain complicated issues and to present her ideas in the form of stories gave her a wide readership and made her famous and wealthy; her first major series outsold Charles Dickens' books.

She was incapacitated by illness from 1839-44, became very ill again in 1855 and wrote her Autobiography - though it was not published until her death in 1876.

In the early 1830s she published a series of stories on political economy which made her rich and famous.

In 1834, (about 50 years after the American Revolutionary War, around the time of the acquisition of Florida and Texas, and about 25 years before the beginning of the American Civil War) she made a two year visit to the United States. In 1837 she wrote Society in America, which gave an account with many statistics of her travels throughout America, her contacts with many and varied people, her generally favourable opinions of America, and her detestation of slavery. The book ran through several editions in two and three volume forms. Retrospect of Western Travel was published the following year 'to communicate more of my personal narrative, ... the lighter characteristics of men, and incidents of travel.'

The text was taken from the Online Library of Freedom site, and checked against the three volume Saunders and Otley edition in the Internet Archive and from the HathiTrust.org site. I have italicised the names of ships and books, set letters and documents off as blockquotes, and made changes to spelling, punctuation, and hyphenation using oxforddictionaries.com.
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