Welcome!

Welcome to Observing Martineau! This blog is the product of an undergraduate English project and is meant to serve as a resource for individuals academic and non-academic alike. The purpose of Observing Martineau is to both organize and host relevant articles, essays and links on Victorian travel literature, gender and disability in relation to Harriet Martineau. More specifically, these themes will offer background for and then be applied to Martineau’s travel text A Description of the Lakes (1858) in hopes of not only building context for the work but also building upon the literary aspect of this text as something more than simply a guide to the Victorian-era Lake District.

You may begin accessing the information hosted on Observing Martineau by clicking any of the menu links above (e.g., “Background and Biography”). Some menu links, such as the aforementioned “Background and Biography”, host sub-links as well. Alternatively, you may navigate the blog by clicking the full list of available pages to the left, which are listed in  an order that might make for the most natural reading experience.


“Her original power was nothing more than was due to earnestness and intellectual clearness within a certain range. With small imaginative and suggestive powers, and therefore nothing approaching to genius, she could see clearly what she did see, and give a clear expression to what she had to say. In short, she could popularize while she could neither discover nor invent.”

– Harriet Martineau, Obituary

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