Another of Norwich’s lesser-known children, Harriet Martineau was a social theorist and Whig writer, often cited as the first female sociologist.

Born in 1802, Martineau wrote many books and a multitude of essays from a sociological, holistic, religious, domestic, and perhaps most controversially, feminine perspective; she also translated various works from Auguste Comte. She earned enough to be supported entirely by her writing, a rare feat for a woman in the Victorian era. A young Princess Victoria enjoyed reading Martineau’s publications. The queen invited Martineau to her coronation in 1838 —an event which Martineau described, in great and amusing detail, to her many readers.

Explore Martineau’s hometown with Visit Norwich.