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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

"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 i

Helen: [slams the bedroom door on her abusive husband, insisting in a groundbreaking feminist statement that she does not deserve and will not tolerate his treatment, also implicitly denying him the entitlement to her body that was presumed under legal coverture]
Me:

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is not quite Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre, but I did really enjoy it. It's surprising, given how dated the characters' moralizing is, but I was so swept up in the past and the setting that I felt totally 19th-Century level shocked by the cheating and lying and *gasp* dr

I've read this once before (I was thirteen and we went to the beach for the day; I read it in a single sitting and didn't end up swimming at all because I loved it so much!). The plot is fast-paced and was just as enjoyable this time around.

The book is written part-epistolary and part-diary. Like F

Some movies are really pretty bad except for one transcendent performance, Sophie’s Choice for instance. The glittering pallid Meryl Streep is just brilliant whilst the movie itself is a bit of a pain. Same with novels.

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is a game of three halves. For the first 100 pages t

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 brai

Bravissima, Brontë!

There is a straight logical line leading from the brilliant fiction of Anne Brontë, written in 1847, to Margaret Atwood's equally persuasive The Handmaid's Tale of our own era. Eloquent, erudite, witty women describe what makes patriarchal, Christian society brutally unjust to any

The Tenant of the Wildfell Hall is the second novel and my first reading of Anne Bronte. The first thought that came to mind while reading this was why it took me this long to discover her? I was familiar with her more famous sisters Charlotte and Emily but didn't know of her existence until a very

(Find the full sized image here.)

Before we discovered Anne Brontë, some of us fancied Heathcliff. We wanted to fix him, tame him, soothe his tortured soul. Or maybe if you preferred the more mature and experienced man, you craved Mr Rochester. Perhaps you even draped yourself out of your bedroom win

An unknown woman suddenly appears in the dilapidated mansion Wildfell Hall, abandoned for many years by the wealthy family that 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 century, no on

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