In The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Anne Bronte created a strong, modern heroine who challenged the prevailing morals and politics of the Victorian era.
When Helen Graham shut her bedroom door on her abusive, drunken husband, it was a door-slam heard around the world. Escaping to Wildfell Hall after a loveless marriage, Helen, our mysterious tenant, lives in quiet seclusion, while her reclusive nature quickly becomes the subject of local gossip.
Gilbert Markham, a young farmer, becomes intrigued with Ms. Graham and soon discovers the shocking secrets of her dark past.
Public Domain (P)2015 Naxos AudioBooks
What a treat! The narrators are perfectly matched to the material, and the material itself is shot through with love and sunlight. Not to say there's no suffering: the novel contains a gripping account of a relationship gone horribly wrong, and of the ravages of alcohol and adultery. But for all that, it doesn't have the tinge of gothic horror that marks other works by members of the Brontë family. If there's a flaw, it's that the male narrator, Gilbert Markham, isn't half as mature as he seems to think he is. He's right when he says he doesn't deserve to be happy. But Helen Huntingdon DOES deserve it. She is a strong, determined woman, an utter contrast to the stereotypical Victorian heroine, and her story is a delight to hear.
It was only the middle that I didn't like. It is sad on so many levels but it would be a spoiler to say more! This isn't exquisite literature but very good and I'm happy to have heard it. The performances are perfectly suited. This is my second Bronte sister to have read. Charlotte remains for me. Emily and Anne were certainly talented and I hear that I may have saved the best for last. Would have loved to ha e known them as friends. They could be seen as early feminists with their strong, women of principal. I liked Gilbert quite well too!
This is a delightful story which was beautifully performed. I shall enjoy listening to it again,
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