Harriet Martineau is a very apposite figure to choose for a collection which examines the interrelationships of education, political and personal life, and power. Throughout her life (1802–1877) 1 she concerned herself with a wide variety of political, economic, social, and cultural issues but both her voluminous writings and her actions were underpinned by a fervent desire to educate the public, unfailingly optimistic that if everyone was correctly educated necessary social change would take place. Eager to publish the knowledge she gained through extensive reading, travel, and active engagement in many intellectual and social debates, her constant questioning of cherished assumptions and desire for scientific answers, even in religion, made her both a celebrated and a controversial figure. Her concerns and approach, especially her belief in certain educational principles, owed much to her Unitarian upbringing.