Eric Willats in Streets with a Story: The Book of Islington says it is named after Harriet Martineau (June 12, 1802 – June 27, 1876) the author journalist and travel writer who is often cited as the first woman sociologist. “She was a relative of Richard Martineau who in 1828 became a junior partner in Whitbread’s Brewery. Harriet visited his wife for a three weeks stay in 1834 and wrote whilst there.” She was exceptionally well-connected. The Martineau Society describes her as: “The daughter of a Unitarian Norwich cloth manufacturer, she shot to fame in 1832 as author of Illustrations of Political Economy – twenty-five short stories showing how economic conditions impacted on the lives of ordinary people in a variety of social environments. She visited America in 1834 for two years and identified with the anti-slavery cause, which she promoted in her journalism for the rest of her working life. She also wrote fiction, travel books on America and the Middle East, and political analyses of conditions in India and Ireland, and is regarded by many as the first significant British woman sociologist.” Work began on this street in 1879 but by 1882 only numbers 1 to 7 were completed.
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