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The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

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Author: Anne Brontë
Published: 1848
Language: English
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 48.2
LoC Category: PN
Downloads: 9,599 1236

The story of a woman who leaves her abusive, dissolute husband, and who must then support herself and her young son. By challenging the prevailing morals of the time the novel caused a critic to pronounce it ''utterly unfit to be put into the hands of girls''. It is considered to be one of the first feminist novels.

Show Excerpt

mbition urged me to higher aims, and self-conceit assured me that, in disregarding its voice, I was burying my talent in the earth, and hiding my light under a bushel. My mother had done her utmost to persuade me that I was capable of great achievements; but my father, who thought ambition was the surest road to ruin, and change but another word for destruction, would listen to no scheme for bettering either my own condition, or that of my fellow mortals. He assured me it was all rubbish, and exhorted me, with his dying breath, to continue in the good old way, to follow his steps, and those of his father before him, and let my highest ambition be to walk honestly through the world, looking neither to the right hand nor to the left, and to transmit the paternal acres to my children in, at least, as flourishing a condition as he left them to me.

'Well! - an honest and industrious farmer is one of the most useful members of society; and if I devote my talents to the cultivation of my farm, and the improve

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 4 from 2 reviews: ****

Anne Brontė (1820-1849) has published two books: \'Agnes Grey\' (1847) and \'The Tenant of Wildfell Hall\' (1848). In this book a young woman, Helen Graham, and her young son arrive in a small village and rent Wildfell Hall. She works as a artist to support herself and her child. The villagers try to find out who she is and what her background is. Helen does not tell a lot about herself and the villagers start gossiping about her. It turns out that Helen has fled from her alcoholic and abusive husband.

At the time this book was written, it was not only considered morally wrong for a wife to leave her husband, but it was even against the law. According to some this book was (one of) the first feminist novel(s). Themes in this book are: alcoholism, gender relations, Victorian moral and the (lack of) rights of women. The alcoholic husband is believed to be based on Anne Brontė\'s brother Branwell.


A good read about a young woman who, blinded by 'love', marries an inappropriate man and how she tries to claim her life back afterward.
The heroine was too 'good'; a condition which probably contributed to the disastr of the union, but in all, the book is provocating in making the reader realize how little the lot of abused women has changed over time....



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