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The Tenant of Wildfell Hall - eBook

$5.39$5.39
<p>When the mysterious and beautiful young widow Helen Graham becomes the new tenant at Wildfell Hall rumours immediately begin to swirl around her. As her neighbour Gilbert Markham comes to discover, Helen has painful secrets buried in her past that even his love for her cannot easily overcome.</p>

Customer Review Snapshot

4.4 out of 5 stars
50 total reviews
5 stars
27
4 stars
16
3 stars
7
2 stars
0
1 star
0
Most helpful positive review
So much of this story paralleled my experience of marriage that it is hard to believe the author never was married or that it was written in a different age. Of course, the social customs are different in this story, but the human experience doesn't seem to change throughout the generations. Helen Graham and her small son, along with one servant, arrive as tenants in Wildfell Hall and the county's residents are fascinated by her. She is purported to be a widow, but can we be sure? Tongues begin wagging as she is seen in the company of a single man, her landlord. Gilbert Markham, who has fallen in love with Helen, is loath to believe the rumors until he witnesses what he believes is a romantic encounter between Helen and the other man. Helen shares her journal with Gilbert and he learns her true story. The bulk of the book is Helen's journal, which tells of a journey from the innocent, optimistic newlywed to a mature woman who chooses to take her child and flee from an intolerable marriage. Despite her aunt's warnings to keep her eyes open and make sure to marry a man who is upright and stable (and haven't many of us heard that same warning?), Helen believes she has found the ideal mate in Arthur Huntingdon. Although Arthur runs with a wild crowd, Helen is certain he will settle down once they are married and that she will be a positive influence on Arthur. As the years pass, and particularly after their child is born, Helen realizes that Arthur has not changed and may have become even worse. He drinks to excess, has affairs, and is verbally abusive toward his wife. His health begins to deteriorate. In the company of his friends, Helen becomes the butt of jokes, as the men consider her to be too pious and too much of a nag. Helen's main concern, however, is the influence of the men on her son. Apparently early critics of this story found the depiction of the dysfunctional home too unsettling, and many feared the strong feminine character. In her introduction to the second edition, Bronte defends her novel as being true and says that society, women in particular, need to be made aware of the pitfalls of naivete. The character of Arthur Huntingdon does not resort to physical violence against his wife or child, which might have pushed the story over the edge to melodrama; the verbal abuse and mind games he plays are truer to life and so accurately wrought that they may actually be more effective in making the point. Even though this book was written more than a century ago, it spoke to me on a personal level, and I imagine it would have a similar effect on a lot of modern readers. Although women certainly have more freedom and independence today, many of Helen's experiences still ring true. I myself wore rose-colored glasses into my marriage and experienced the disillusionment of finding my husband to be callous and unwilling to compromise. I too struggled with how to raise children to respect their father without becoming like him. I felt the same worries about how to support myself and my children if I should leave. It is likely that many modern readers have had similar experiences, because human nature doesn't change substantially, even if culture does. I found myself marking a lot of passages that had particular resonance for me: Principle is the first thing, after all; and next to that, good sense, respectability, and moderate wealth. If you should marry the handsomest, and most accomplished and superficially agreeable man in the world, you little know the misery that would overwhelm you if, after all, you should find him to be a worthless reprobate, or even an impracticable fool. +++ Arthur is not what is commonly called a bad man: he has many good qualities; but he is a man without self-restraint or lofty aspirations--a lover of pleasure, given up to animal enjoyments: he is not a bad husband, but his notion of matrimonial duties and comforts are not my notions. +++ I had my darling, sinless, inoffensive little one to console me, but even this consolation was embittered by the constantly recurring thought, "How shall I teach him, hereafter, to respect his father, and yet to avoid his example?" +++ Things that formerly shocked and disgusted me, now seem only natural. I know them to be wrong, because reason and God's word delcare them to be so; but I am gradually losing that instinctive horror and repulsion which was given me by nature, or instilled into me by the precepts and example of my aunt. Perhaps, then, I was too severe in my judgments, for I abhorred the sinner as well as the sin; now, I flatter myself I am more charitable and considerate, but am I not becoming more indifferent and insensate too? Fool that I was to dream I had strength and purity enough to save myself and him! +++ ...[H]ow shall I get through the months or years of my future life, in company with that man--my greatest enemy--for none could injure me as he has done? Oh! When I think how fondly, how foolishly I have loved him, how madly I have trusted him, and struggled for his advantage; and how cruelly he has trampled on my love, betrayed my trust, scorned my prayers and tears, and efforts for his preservation--crushed my hopes, destroyed my youth's best feelings, and doomed me to a life of hopeless misery--as far as man can do it--it is not enough to say that I no longer love my husband--I HATE him! +++ ...I have had nine weeks' experience of this new phase of conjugal life--two persons living together, as master and mistress of the house, and father and mother of a winsome, merry little child, with the mutual understanding that there is no love, friendship, or sympathy between them. +++ I do not advise you to marry for love alone--there are many, many other things to be considered. Keep both heart and hand in your own possession, till you see good reason to part with them; and if such an occasion should never present itself, comfort your mind with this reflection: that, though in single life your joys may not be very many, your sorrows at least will not be more than you can bear. The introduction to this volume emphasizes Bronte's theme of raising a child correctly, but my focus on reading was the experience of marriage. I believe this is an excellent portrait of a relationship gone wrong. If the novel has any weaknesses, I think they are in the framing story: the love affair between Gilbert and Helen does not seem as genuine, although Gilbert's relationship with little Arthur is illustrated beautifully, and Helen's return to nurse her sick husband seemed sudden and a little TOO pious. But these facets do allow for the story to have a happy ending, which I found satisfying.Overall, I loved this book and am glad I finally read one of the youngest Bronte sister's novels.

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When the mysterious and beautiful young widow Helen Graham becomes the new tenant at Wildfell Hall rumours immediately begin to swirl around her. As her neighbour Gilbert Markham comes to discover, Helen has painful secrets buried in her past that even his love for her cannot easily overcome.

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall - eBook

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Read This On
Android,Ereader,Desktop,IOS,Windows
Is Downloadable Content Available
Y
Digital Reader Format
Epub (Yes)
Language
en
Publisher
Kobo
Author
Anne Bronte
ISBN-13
9781409077206
ISBN-10
1409077209

Customer Reviews

5 stars
27
4 stars
16
3 stars
7
2 stars
0
1 star
0
1-5 of 50 reviews

So much of this story ...

So much of this story paralleled my experience of marriage that it is hard to believe the author never was married or that it was written in a different age. Of course, the social customs are different in this story, but the human experience doesn't seem to change throughout the generations. Helen Graham and her small son, along with one servant, arrive as tenants in Wildfell Hall and the county's residents are fascinated by her. She is purported to be a widow, but can we be sure? Tongues begin wagging as she is seen in the company of a single man, her landlord. Gilbert Markham, who has fallen in love with Helen, is loath to believe the rumors until he witnesses what he believes is a romantic encounter between Helen and the other man. Helen shares her journal with Gilbert and he learns her true story. The bulk of the book is Helen's journal, which tells of a journey from the innocent, optimistic newlywed to a mature woman who chooses to take her child and flee from an intolerable marriage. Despite her aunt's warnings to keep her eyes open and make sure to marry a man who is upright and stable (and haven't many of us heard that same warning?), Helen believes she has found the ideal mate in Arthur Huntingdon. Although Arthur runs with a wild crowd, Helen is certain he will settle down once they are married and that she will be a positive influence on Arthur. As the years pass, and particularly after their child is born, Helen realizes that Arthur has not changed and may have become even worse. He drinks to excess, has affairs, and is verbally abusive toward his wife. His health begins to deteriorate. In the company of his friends, Helen becomes the butt of jokes, as the men consider her to be too pious and too much of a nag. Helen's main concern, however, is the influence of the men on her son. Apparently early critics of this story found the depiction of the dysfunctional home too unsettling, and many feared the strong feminine character. In her introduction to the second edition, Bronte defends her novel as being true and says that society, women in particular, need to be made aware of the pitfalls of naivete. The character of Arthur Huntingdon does not resort to physical violence against his wife or child, which might have pushed the story over the edge to melodrama; the verbal abuse and mind games he plays are truer to life and so accurately wrought that they may actually be more effective in making the point. Even though this book was written more than a century ago, it spoke to me on a personal level, and I imagine it would have a similar effect on a lot of modern readers. Although women certainly have more freedom and independence today, many of Helen's experiences still ring true. I myself wore rose-colored glasses into my marriage and experienced the disillusionment of finding my husband to be callous and unwilling to compromise. I too struggled with how to raise children to respect their father without becoming like him. I felt the same worries about how to support myself and my children if I should leave. It is likely that many modern readers have had similar experiences, because human nature doesn't change substantially, even if culture does. I found myself marking a lot of passages that had particular resonance for me: Principle is the first thing, after all; and next to that, good sense, respectability, and moderate wealth. If you should marry the handsomest, and most accomplished and superficially agreeable man in the world, you little know the misery that would overwhelm you if, after all, you should find him to be a worthless reprobate, or even an impracticable fool. +++ Arthur is not what is commonly called a bad man: he has many good qualities; but he is a man without self-restraint or lofty aspirations--a lover of pleasure, given up to animal enjoyments: he is not a bad husband, but his notion of matrimonial duties and comforts are not my notions. +++ I had my darling, sinless, inoffensive little one to console me, but even this consolation was embittered by the constantly recurring thought, "How shall I teach him, hereafter, to respect his father, and yet to avoid his example?" +++ Things that formerly shocked and disgusted me, now seem only natural. I know them to be wrong, because reason and God's word delcare them to be so; but I am gradually losing that instinctive horror and repulsion which was given me by nature, or instilled into me by the precepts and example of my aunt. Perhaps, then, I was too severe in my judgments, for I abhorred the sinner as well as the sin; now, I flatter myself I am more charitable and considerate, but am I not becoming more indifferent and insensate too? Fool that I was to dream I had strength and purity enough to save myself and him! +++ ...[H]ow shall I get through the months or years of my future life, in company with that man--my greatest enemy--for none could injure me as he has done? Oh! When I think how fondly, how foolishly I have loved him, how madly I have trusted him, and struggled for his advantage; and how cruelly he has trampled on my love, betrayed my trust, scorned my prayers and tears, and efforts for his preservation--crushed my hopes, destroyed my youth's best feelings, and doomed me to a life of hopeless misery--as far as man can do it--it is not enough to say that I no longer love my husband--I HATE him! +++ ...I have had nine weeks' experience of this new phase of conjugal life--two persons living together, as master and mistress of the house, and father and mother of a winsome, merry little child, with the mutual understanding that there is no love, friendship, or sympathy between them. +++ I do not advise you to marry for love alone--there are many, many other things to be considered. Keep both heart and hand in your own possession, till you see good reason to part with them; and if such an occasion should never present itself, comfort your mind with this reflection: that, though in single life your joys may not be very many, your sorrows at least will not be more than you can bear. The introduction to this volume emphasizes Bronte's theme of raising a child correctly, but my focus on reading was the experience of marriage. I believe this is an excellent portrait of a relationship gone wrong. If the novel has any weaknesses, I think they are in the framing story: the love affair between Gilbert and Helen does not seem as genuine, although Gilbert's relationship with little Arthur is illustrated beautifully, and Helen's return to nurse her sick husband seemed sudden and a little TOO pious. But these facets do allow for the story to have a happy ending, which I found satisfying.Overall, I loved this book and am glad I finally read one of the youngest Bronte sister's novels.

TToWH has an unusual a...

TToWH has an unusual and intriguing structure - the outer layer is written as a string of letters from a man to his brother-in-law (daring, perhaps, on Anne Brontë's part, to assume the voice of a man?). Approximately halfway through, he quotes a diary written by the female protagonist over a number of years verbatim, for most of the rest of the book. The prose is also extraordinarily detailed in the first section - but the male narrator has already indicated that his will be a detailed missive. According to the endnotes in my Penguin Classics edition, Brontë's novel was a very early, if not the first, novel to deal with substance abuse among the upper classes. Clearly not one to shy away from controversial topics, she also touches on raising children and the worth of ambition. I don't know what is was that inspired Brontë to depict an unhappy marriage in such detail, but it is certainly credible - and goes one step further than merely describing the subject matter, demanding that the reader ask themselves what is right, what is permissible. There are the usual Austen-like illustrations of domesticity - the nuances of courtship, an amusing description of the pontificating vicar, the nature of English beauty (very different from that which is desired today!), repeated depictions of women as nosy gossips whose contribution to society from the kitchen is undervalued and really quite a lot about hair. An excellent book, just beating Mansfield Park to the place of "favourite book so far".

Helen Graham rents the...

Helen Graham rents the small cottage Wildfell Hall and move in there with her little son and the faithful maid-servant.. People in the small village are curious. Who is she? What is her background. She's evidently a widow - but not very eager to share about her life. And of course all kinds of rumors starts going around in the nosy little community. The young farmer Gilberg Markham falls in love with her - and starts to win her confidence. She will reveal her past to him in a long diary that takes up most part of the novel. She is in fact married to Arthur Huntingdon - a very mean and vile kind of husband and father. It is at times painful reading, and no surprise the public was chocked at the detailed glimpse into this bleak portrayal of marital tragedy - which includes the detrimental effects of alcohol, adultury and bad friends. I liked this second reading even better than the first. Also I would recommend the BBC tv-series adaptation from 1996 with Tara Fitzgerald as Helen Graham.

Anne Brontës mesmeris...

Anne Brontë's mesmerising tale of the mysterious tennant of Wildfell Hall is, in my opinion, the finest novel produced by any of the Brontë sisters. Helen Graham is a young, widowed mother who arrives one winter to take up residence in an old Yorkshire manorhouse at the courtesy of the neighbourhood's resident gentleman Frederick Lawrence. But when proud, independent, self-assured Mrs. Graham doesn't conform to the common convention of the day, exhibits unusual, albeit laudable, ideas on childrearing and a woman's place in society she invites the jealousy and the distrust of the local misses. And when the relationship between Mrs. Graham and Lawrence is rumoured to be more than that of tennant and landlord (much to the chagrin of Lawrence's erstwhile admirer, one of the aforementioned misses, which sparks another volley of venomous gossip) will Mrs. Graham's newfound admirer Gilbert Markham, local farmer and hopelessly in love with the aloof, raven haired beauty, defend her honour and refuse to believe, or will his reaction be altogether less noble? And is Mrs. Graham's story really all it seems? Is she really Mrs. Graham at all? Is her husband really dead? Is her relationship with Mr. Lawrence as innocent as Gilbert hopes? Unlike most of my reviews I decline to give away even the first thing in this novel. This book is too delicious to be spoil it in true book-review-style. I found this book immediately engaging from the first. I had just finished another, heavier Victorian tale of scandal (albeit much later Victorian) and I was afraid that I would need a few days to get used to "Tennant" before I really got interested, but it sucked me in from page one. It starts with a letter from the aforementioned Gilbert Markham to his brother-in-law in which he begins to unravel the story of the mysterious Mrs. Graham. I read it surprisingly quickly considering that in the last week I have been working late hours, and I was too ill for most of it to do anything. It took me 4 days to read 60 pages, (not the book's fault!) and then I read the rest of the 320 pages in two days. Amazing read. And now takes its place as my favourite Brontë novel.

Charlotte had this pul...

Charlotte had this pulled from publication after Anne's death. There is speculation it is because the portrayal of the alcoholism and debauchery of the husband hit too close to home; that it shared with people the truth about their brother. Reading it now it seems strange that when this came out it was considered the most shocking of contemporary Victorian novels. Leaving her alcoholic, unfaithful husband was a very shocking act in a time when a married woman had no rights. She had no right to leave, no rights to her own child or her own income.

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Electrode, Comp-805467514, DC-prod-az-southcentralus-13, ENV-prod-a, PROF-PROD, VER-30.0.3-ebf-2, SHA-8c8e8dc1c07e462c80c1b82096c2da2858100078, CID-1cce60dc-722-16e8cfd10dbb68, Generated: Thu, 21 Nov 2019 08:03:45 GMT