Reintroducing Harriet Martineau with Stuart Hobday & Gaby Weiner

In this episode of The Writing Life, NCW Chief Executive Peggy Hughes is joined by writers and members of The Martineau Society Stuart Hobday and Gaby Weiner to discuss their new book Reintroducing Harriet Martineau: Pioneering Sociologist and Activist, which explores the innovative, sociological approach adopted by Harriet Martineau in her efforts to develop a ‘scientific’ approach to understanding social and societal change.

Stuart Hobday is the founder of the annual Harriet Martineau Lecture and the author of Encounters with Harriet Martineau. He is a former Director of Norwich Arts Centre and in 2016 produced the first Norwich Science Festival.

Gaby Weiner has been researching the life and achievements of Harriet Martineau since the 1980s and completed a PhD in 1991 entitled Controversies and Contradictions: Approaches to the Study of Harriet Martineau (1802-76). In 2017, she co-edited with Valerie Sanders a collection entitled Harriet Martineau and the Birth of the Disciplines, and has recently completed a book for Routledge with Stuart Hobday on Harriet Martineau as a foundational sociologist.

Together, they discuss the life and legacy of Harriet Martineau, the things that formed her desire for social progress, and how and why her reputation changed over time. They also touch on their experience co-authoring the book, their journeys finding and researching Harriet Martineau, and how the annual Harriet Martineau Lecture, hosted by NCW as part of Norfolk & Norwich Festival, honours her legacy.

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