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The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Anne Brontë

Book Overview: 

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, the second and final novel by Anne Brontë, is concerned with the story of a woman who leaves her abusive, dissolute husband, and who must then support herself and her young son. It challenged the prevailing morals of the time; a critic went so far as to pronounce it “utterly unfit to be put into the hands of girls”. It is considered to be one of the first feminist novels.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .eman,’ returned he, and he made an effort to pass me again; but I quickly re-captured the pony, scarce less astonished than its master at such uncivil usage.

‘Really, Mr. Markham, this is too much!’ said the latter.  ‘Can I not go to see my tenant on matters of business, without being assaulted in this manner by—?’

‘This is no time for business, sir!—I’ll tell you, now, what I think of your conduct.’

‘You’d better defer your opinion to a more convenient season,’ interrupted he in a low tone—‘here’s the vicar.’  And, in truth, the vicar was just behind me, plodding homeward from some remote corner of his parish.  I immediately released the squire; and he went on his way, saluting Mr. Millward as he passed.

‘What! quarrelling, Markham?’ cried the latter, addressing himself to me,—‘and about that young widow, I doubt?̵. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Anne Bronte's second novel is often overshadowed by her sisters' more famous novels, Charlotte's Jane Eyre (and three others) and Emily's Wuthering Heights, but it is equally worth reading. It tells the story of Helen Huntingdon, a mysterious woman who comes to live at Wildfell Hall with her chil...more

[4.5 stars]

Move over, Charlotte. Make room for my new favorite Brontë!

It is inevitable for me to compare Anne Brontë with her sisters, and Helen Graham with Jane Eyre particularly, but I shall momentarily do so anyway. Some said this was better than any Brontë novel published, some claimed it dee...more

"Reformed rakes make the best husbands."
This is the maxim that governs the universe of historical romance novels. That a puerile assumption regarding dissolute cads turning into paragons of puritanical goodness on being administered the vital dosage of a virgin's 'love' fuels women's fantasies...more

The second novel Anne wrote before she caught pulmonary tuberculosis shortly after her 29th birthday. Certainly not something on those 100 Things To Do Before You’re 30 Lists. 1) Paragliding. 2) Kayaking. 3) Catch pulmonary TB and die. See? Good. The problem with those lists is they presuppose re...more

The tenant that is being referred to in the title of this book, The Tenant of the Wildfell Hall is not actually a tenant. She owns the place being the child of the owner. She is born there and only comes back because she is running away from her alcoholic husband. The husband is slowly introducin...more

Carol said I must list my all time favorite books. What a challenge this is! I have read everything those Bronte girls wrote, even their childhood poetry and I love all of it. But Anne will take the showing on my list for her bravery. Of course Charlotte was the most prolific and Emily the true b...more

The Tenant of the Wildfell Hall is the second novel and my only read of Anne Bronte. The first thought that came to mind while reading was that why it took me this long to discover her? I was familiar with her more famous sisters Charlotte and Emily but did not know her existence till a recent ti...more

With this book Anne has now become my favorite Brontè! Amazing story! Not only is the writing phenomenal but the issues she addresses were truly progressive for the time: feminism, alcoholism, abuse, etc
A must read!

An unknown woman suddenly appears in the dilapidated mansion, Wildfell Hall, abandoned for many years, by the wealthy family, who owned it, as uninhabitable, surrounded by the bleak moorlands, in a remote, quiet village, in the northern English countryside, during the early part of the 19th centu...more

Poor Helen. Poor Anne. Poor book...

Anne is just as much a Brontë as her sisters! Her voice, in many ways, completes the harmony and picks up where the two of them leave off. True, there are no fires, ghosts, or windswept moors. But, as one critic noted, "The slamming of Helen's bedroom door again...more

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