that social affairs proceed according to great general laws, no less than natural phenomena,
she produced several major contributions to this emerging field. She wrote broadly in periodicals and regularly for a newspaper on social and political issues, and produced three books of observations emerging from her foreign travels. Although her two three-volume novels were not particularly successful, her work had a great impact on later Victorian fiction. She also wrote history, biography, and household manuals. Her advocacy of mesmerism and her atheism made some of her later writings controversial. In her eminently readable autobiography and other writings she presents a cogent analysis of conditions shaping the lives of Victorian women. Although she became hugely influential—one of the most prominent women writers of her day—
eschewed notions of genius. Her crucial contribution to Victorian feminist thought has frequently been overlooked.
began her career as a professional writer, which spanned more than four decades in the mid nineteenth century, with writing from a Unitarian perspective on religious matters. She made her name with her multi-volume series (initially twenty-five volumes, followed by further series) of narrative expositions of political economy. One of the founders of sociology, who believed