The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Book - 1996
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One of the BBC's '100 Novels That Shaped Our World'

The groundbreaking story of a woman's valiant struggle for independence from her abusive husband

Gilbert Markham is deeply intrigued by Helen Graham, a beautiful and secretive young woman who has moved into nearby Wildfell Hall with her young son. He is quick to offer Helen his friendship, but when her reclusive behaviour becomes the subject of local gossip and speculation, Gilbert begins to wonder whether his trust in her has been misplaced. It is only when she allows Gilbert to read her diary that the truth is revealed and the shocking details of the disastrous marriage she has left behind emerge. Told with great immediacy, combined with wit and irony, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is a powerful depiction of a woman's fight for domestic independence and creative freedom.

In her introduction Stevie Davies discusses The Tenant of Wildfell Hall as feminist testament, inspired by Anne Brontë's experiences as a governess and by the death of her brother Branwell Brontë, and examines the novel's language, biblical references and narrative styles.
Edited with an introduction and notes by Stevie Davis

Publisher: London ; New York : Penguin Books, c1996.
ISBN: 9780140434743
0140434747
Branch Call Number: Fic Bron
Characteristics: xxxiv, 535, [1] p. ; 20 cm.
Additional Contributors: Rosengarten, Herbert

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dnk
Feb 04, 2018

Helen is a complex heroine. I could not help but be moved by her strengthand resourcefulness in the face of the growing disaster that became her marriage. I also found the sequence where she planned her "great escape" exciting and suspenseful, even though I knew it would be a success.

It is slightly flawed in that the end ties up a bit too nicely, and the tension between the narrator and Helen withers a bit by the time the book ends. However, the same criticism could probably be made of the other more well-known Bronte books.

m
macierules
Nov 11, 2014

Bold story in its time. Great read.

goatscabin Apr 20, 2012

The structure of this story told through letters and diaries is an engaging and, I expect, a fairly unconventional method in 1848. Despite the language and mores of 150 years ago, the story is as chillingly relevent today in it's portrayal of the manipulation and mind control exerted by an abusive husband over an intelligent woman.

m
mayfairlady
Aug 16, 2011

Glorious gothic!

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