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The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (original 1848; edition 2011)

by Anne Brontë

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4,132871,215 (3.95)2 / 287
Title:The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Authors:Anne Brontë
Info:CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2011), Paperback, 394 pages
Collections:Kindle Edition, Classic, Book Club Read
Tags:Fiction, Classics, Alcoholism, Marriage, 19th Century, Book Club Read, Read 2013

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The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë (1848)


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English (85)  French (2)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (88)
Showing 1-5 of 85 (next | show all)
Tenía un buen recuerdo de este libro a raíz de mi primer acercamiento a esta historia, a través de la serie de televisión y un primer intento de leer la novela en inglés. Esta vez, sin embargo, no me ha terminado de gustar. A pesar de lo inusual de la historia y lo polémico que resultó en su momento, me parece que es muy conservador. Rezuma religiosidad en cada una de sus páginas, resultando agotador. El final es una explosión de puritanismo, sacrificando la escasa pasión que podíamos encontrar en la historia de amor. Es la primera vez que creo que una adaptación televisiva supera el material original.
( )
  L0r0 | Mar 22, 2015 |
My first outing in the writing of Anne Bronte, a powerful and thought provoking tale about the injustices women faced in the time period.


When Helen Graham moves into the long abandoned Wildfell Hall, everyone is curious about her story and her past. Intensely secretive, she raises her son in relative seclusion, but there is one in the local area who seeks to know more about Helen, and quickly a friendship between Helen and Gilbert arises. Mrs Graham becomes the speculation of much local gossip, and in order to clear her name in the eyes of Gilbert, she permits him to read her diary, and learn the shocking truth of the life she left behind.


Let me start off by saying Jane Eyre is one of my favourite books. Until recently that was the only book by the Bronte sisters I had read. In a recent women’s writing module at University one of the required texts was Wuthering Heights, which I loved (you can see the review here.) I then decided to read The Tenant of Wildfell Hall as a result of some comparisons made between the two novels. All three books achieved greatness for different things, but the thing that struck me most was the bravery it must have taken Anne to write such a book in the 19th century, not only highlighting the abusive nature of her marriage, but also chronicling the story of a woman reaching out on her own and raising her son as a single parent.

It’s an astounding book, especially given the overall happy ending - the majority of texts featuring single mothers tended to end in death and despair, but Anne’s protagonist stays strong throughout her hardship, and ultimately gets the life she deserves. Many feminists claim this to be an early example of a feminist text, and I think it did much in showcasing how little freedoms women had, and how little protection they had in abusive relationships.

There are a whole host of characters - much more than that of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, and Bronte uses that to expand into many different sub plots as well as exploring different themes and different marriages. She highlights alcohol abuse, unmarried women feeling like a burden on their family and the inability to stand up to your husband in very subtle ways. Much of the text is written through the form of letters and diaries, which puts an interesting perspective on the story.

I feel the Tenant of Wildfell Hall is somewhat overshadowed by the books of her sisters, in fact I had never previously heard of the novel. It is an immensely powerful thought provoking tale and although I felt some chapters were a little long winded for my liking, it is a book that will stay with me for a long time.
  ColeReadsBooks | Jan 27, 2015 |
The bad people are all horrible and the pious people are all saintly. No one is even remotely in the grey-area. Mr Hargrave seems to get a bit of a personality transplant halfway through. Helen is almost insufferable. Her aunt gets proved right, despite having a despicable (even for the time) attitude towards her niece. Anne can't pull off the pious heroine in the same way that Charlotte did in Villette, she just makes her horrendous. And who the fuck is Gilbert, anyway? He's so boring as to be utterly lacking in impact.

The writing was pretty good, though. ( )
  humblewomble | Oct 19, 2014 |
An entertaining, romantic, and suspensful book! BUT, I just don't think this type of setting, namely the time period will ever be one of my favorites to read. It was good though, and I will probably read some more classics like this! ( )
  Czarmoriarty | Sep 25, 2014 |
This must be Anne Bronte year for me. I read both of her books (she only has two, right?) this year for the first time. I have mixed feelings about this book. It's the story of Helen Huntingdon, who is married to a complete jerk. He's an alcoholic who has numerous affairs under her roof and tries to corrupt their young son to his lifestyle. The corruption of her son is the deal breaker for her so she escapes and of course meets a new love interest, Gilbert Markham. I like Gilbert a lot. He makes mistakes (like when he unknowingly beats up her brother) and acts childish a lot of the time, but he has good intentions and seems to have a good heart. I liked that Helen is the one that takes things by the hand and basically proposes to Gilbert in the end and also that she has all the money and will be providing for the couple. Pretty much the opposite of most books of this era, where the impoverished heroine has to snag a rich husband who she hopefully (sometimes too conveniently) loves.

What I didn't like about this book was the pacing. It dragged on a bit for me and the story lent itself to being much more exciting than it ended up being. I think having it told through letters and journals kind of hindered the book. I can imagine it being a deeper, more complex novel if it had not been in first person. On the other hand, Agnes Grey, told through the title character's journal, worked really well for that story, and overall, though I think I'm in the minority on this one, I liked it better. ( )
  japaul22 | Aug 19, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 85 (next | show all)
"profane expressions, inconceivably coarse language, and revolting scenes and descriptions by which its pages are disfigured"
added by GYKM | editSharpe's London Magazine
"a morbid love for the coarse, not to say the brutal"
added by GYKM | editSpectator
"The reader of Acton Bell gains no enlarged view of mankind, giving a healthy action to his sympathies, but is confined to a narrow space of life, and held down, as it were, by main force, to witness the wolfish side of his nature literally and logically set forth."
added by GYKM | editNorth American Review

» Add other authors (44 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brontë, Anneprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
May, NadiaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosengarten, HerbertEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stephens, IanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward, Mrs. HumphryIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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You must go back with me to the autumn of 1827.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
A woman recounts her difficult marriage to an alcoholic and her battles with society's double standards when she leaves him, taking her son with her.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140434747, Paperback)

"I no longer love my husband – I HATE him! The word stares at me in the face like a guilty confession"

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 struggle for domestic independence and creative freedom.

In her introduction Steve 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:36:24 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

The mysterious new tenant of Wildfell Hall is a strong-minded woman who keeps her own counsel. Helen 'Graham' - exiled with her child to the desolate moorland mansion, adopting an assumed name and earning her living as a painter - has returned to Wildfell Hall in flight from a disastrous marriage. Narrated by her neighbour Gilbert Markham, and in the pages of her own diary, the novel portrays Helen's eloquent struggle for independence at a time when the law and society defined a married woman as her husband's property.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 20 descriptions

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Average: (3.95)
1 6
1.5 1
2 26
2.5 10
3 177
3.5 71
4 363
4.5 49
5 225


11 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140434747, 0141035633, 0141199350

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