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The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848)
by Anne Brontë
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Some very painful reading! And sometimes I just wanted to slap that Gilbert upside the head, I really did.
Wonderful tale! Though frustrating in the treatment of women. Glad things have improved. Good strong characters. Excellent narration. I'm glad it wasn't too short. I really enjoyed the world that was created here.
I came into this book with some trepidation, not being a great fan of Charlotte Bronte. However, I was thoroughly delighted by Anne. This was Austinian with significantly more grit and depth. Highly recommend
A much underrated and underread book, and one I prefer to Wuthering Heights.[return][return]A mysterious woman (with a child but no husband) moves into Wildfell Hall, and one of the local landowners Gilbert Markham becomes intrigued with her remoteness. Gilbert falls in love with Helen Graham, but feels that he is getting nowhere, and becomes suspicious of her relationship with her landlord.[return][return]Gilbert confronts her, and she reveals that she is in love with him, and hands over her diary for him to read. It provides reasons for her living apparently unmarried but with a child; her marriage to a violent drunken husband; her relationship with her landlord; her need and desire to protect her son; trying to earn a living in a society that does not allow women to independently have a serious job or career without the "protection" of a husband (living with a violent drunk always being preferred to walking away).[return][return]Rightly or wrongly I've always seen Gilbert as the "younger man". I think in terms of years, he is probably older than Helen, it's just in terms of emotional maturity and life lessons, she is much older than him. He has had a reasonably easy and unchallenging life whilst she has had so much to confront.
"profane expressions, inconceivably coarse language, and revolting scenes and descriptions by which its pages are disfigured"
"a morbid love for the coarse, not to say the brutal"
"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."
[English] society owes thanks, not sneers, to those who dare to shew her the image of her own ugly, hypocritical visage".
"...like the fatal melody of the siren's song, its very perfections render it more dangerous, and therefore more carefully to be avoided."
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Is contained in
Villette by Charlotte Brontë (indirect)
The Complete Novels: Agnes Grey / Jane Eyre / The Professor / Shirley / The Tenant of Wildfell Hall / Villette / Wuthering Heights by Charlotte Brontë
Vilette / Jane Eyre / Shirley / The Tenant of Wildfell Hall / Agnes Grey / Wuthering Heights by Charlotte Brontë
The Brontë Collection: Includes Jane Eyre, The Professor, Shirley, Villette, Wuthering Heights, Agnes Grey, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Cottage Poems and More by Charlotte Brontë
The Complete Novels of the Brontë Sisters (8 Novels: Jane Eyre, Shirley, Villette, The Professor, Emma, Wuthering Heights, Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall) by Charlotte Brontë
6 Volume Set Jane Eyre, Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Wuthering Heights, Agnes Grey, Professor, Poems, Miscellanea, Shirley, Villete by Charlotte Brontë
Brontë Sisters: The Professor / Angrian Tales and Poems / The Tenant of Wildfell Hall / Agnes Grey / Wuthering Heights / Jane Eyre / Villette / Shirley by Anne Brontë
Agnes Grey / The Tenant of Wildfell Hall / Jane Eyre / The Professor / Villette / Wuthering Heights / Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell by Anne Brontë
Life and Works of the Brontë Sisters (Thornfield Edition) by Emily and Charlotte Bronte. Edited By Temple Scott
Villette / Shirley / by Charlotte Brontë (indirect)
Villette (annotated): by Charlotte Brontë by Charlotte Brontë (indirect)
Agnes Grey / Villette / The Professor by Anne Brontë (indirect)
Agnes Grey / Villette / Wuthering Heights by Anne Brontë (indirect)
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Is abridged in
Anne Brontë: 200 Artists, 200 pages: An Artistic Response to The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Lindsey Tyson
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Wikipedia in English (3)
Published in June 1848, less than a year before her death, Anne Bronte's second (and last) novel, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, is the somber account of the breakdown of a marriage in the face of alcoholism and infidelity. The novel enjoyed a modest success that led its publisher, theunscrupulous T.C. Newby, to issue a "Second Edition" less than two months later. The present edition, which completes the Clarendon Edition of the Novels of the Brontes, offers a text based on the collation of the first edition with the second. The introduction details the work's composition andearly printing history, including its first publication in America; and the text is fully annotated. Appendices record the substantive variants in the first English and American editions, and discuss the author's belief in the doctrine of universal salvation.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)823.8Literature English & Old English literatures English fiction Victorian period 1837-1900
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3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.
Editions: 0140434747, 0141035633, 0141199350
I read this so long ago that I thought it was time to revisit it, now that I'm better acquainted with the lives of the Bronte sisters. It's hard to know how to rate it. It's not pleasant reading; indeed, it's rather oppressive. But of course, Anne didn't write this book to be amusing. She wrote it to highlight truths and double standards and injustices that were being completely swept under the rug at the time, and that reflected traumas going on within her own family. So, as an exercise in authorly courage, it's significant.
And yet I have lukewarm feelings toward it. I think I would have warmed to it more if
Incidentally, I'm still not sure how to find the true unabridged original version of the text. What I read had re-inserted the opening letter, but otherwise it was identical to the mutilated version of the text that is generally accepted now. ( )