Tonight I went to a talk by Norwich Arts Centre director Stuart Hobday about Norwich's greatest historical radical Harriet Martineau as part of the American Connections series.
Stuart's position is basically that Harriet is a bit of an unsung hero, mostly because of her gender. She was pre-Victorian, living in the early 19th century and born in Norwich. She grew up a feisty and independent young woman, and after her father died, took up earning her living through working about politics, economics and society when girls like her were supposed to be safely tucked up with their needlework (which she was also good at). She is thought to have influenced Cahrles Darwin and the development of his theories as they were friends in London, and also Florence Nightingale She fought for the abolition of slavery, women's rights and she paved the way for a generation of radical thinkers who believed in fairness and justice. All of this was just not what most women did at that time and probably a load of guys took credit for much of her thinking.
More details about Harriet Martineau and why we should take more notice of this Norwich heroine here.
Tomorrow I am going to the Norfolk Network meeting and then the Latitude Poetry Club at Norwich Arts Centre, given that I can't get tickets for Cabaret at Theatre Royal Norwich.