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Publisher's Summary

Probably the most shocking of the Brontës' novels, this novel had an instant and phenomenal success and is widely considered to be one of the first sustained feminist novels. A mysterious widow, Mrs. Helen Graham, arrives at Wildfell Hall, a nearby old mansion. A source of curiosity for the small community, the reticent Helen and her young son Arthur are slowly drawn into the social circles of the village.

Public Domain (P)2012 Trout Lake Media

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • i. Ski
  • Duluth, Minnesota
  • 04-17-14

A good story ruined by the narrator

The narration of this classic made the entire experience PAINFUL. Although capable of reading, the narrator was not capable of dialogue -- something experienced Audible listeners have come to rely upon. So what happens is this: is it a man? is it a woman? which character is it, pray tell? Only those who have read the book in the past and are familiar with the plot line are able to tell.

I hope Audible will avoid these disasters -- I am wondering how it was selected.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Good novel with poor production

It's a solid, though occasionally depressing, story. However, the production or audio quality is poor with frequent changes in sound and voice modulation. It does not seem professionally produced as most Audible titles.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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A classic story deserves a more adept reader

How did the narrator detract from the book?

With material that is so well known the reader should check the material. There were so many mispronounced words that I could hardly follow the story in places. Ms. Agliotta needs to get a dictionary and learn how to use it.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Interesting plot, beautiful language, blah reader

This was Anne Brontë's only novel, and it's very well written, and makes some very surprising and interesting statements regarding marriage and women's rights, and lack thereof. Her protagonist is not perfect, and of course that makes the book even better. The flashback within the plot by means of the reading of a journal was also interesting. I was frustrated by the fact that a plot summary here included things that happen very late in the book. Basically was a spoiler.

If you're thinking about listening to this book, choose one by another reader. I had listened to an Anne of Green Gables book read by Mary Sarah, and was so not pleased, that I remember her name! But this version was I sale, so I chose it. Never again! I don't care if they offer a book for a penny, I will NOT get it if it's being read by this reader. She has an odd accent, and reads very quickly, so that voice inflection and emotion are lost to efficiency. I got the impression that she didn't understand what the characters were feeling sometimes. She also mispronounced several words... really odd.

This novel ideally should be performed by 2 readers. A man for the narrative of Gilbert, and a woman for the narrative of Helen's journal. I was very confused as to why a woman was reading a first person account written by a man, and it really took away from several passages.

Overall, this is a well-written, interesting view into 19th century perspectives on marriage and morality, with some lovely turns of the English language, but, choose another narrator.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • julia
  • SARASOTA, FL, United States
  • 10-31-12

BRONTE CLASSIC

Any additional comments?

I am glad that I listened to this book, it was more than I expected. Bronte wrote like she thought. You can't do anything while you read this or you don't get the wonderful mental pictures she writes for you. She is not my favorite author of this timeframe but as a classic, this one is worth the time you will put into it.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Leslie
  • New York, NY, United States
  • 06-13-13

Incredible Journey. Poignant Read!

Would you listen to The Tenant of Wildfell Hall again? Why?

Yes, to remind myself of the capacity for dignity and courage in difficult situations.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I am moved by the journey and courage of the heroine, Mrs. Graham -- a woman caught in an abusive marriage - that finally finds the courage to free herself and her child through dignity and art.

What about Mary Sarah Agliotta’s performance did you like?

The narrator captured the bittersweet emotions, gut-wrenching tensions and difficult realities of this time through her restrained passion and warmth of tone. She seemed to really understand what the characters were going through.

If you could rename The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, what would you call it?

Have no improvements on the title.

Any additional comments?

This is one of my favorite classic books, though not so well known.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • jb
  • Plano, TX United States
  • 07-02-14

Wish I liked it more

As a proto-feminist story, where a woman over-rides a jerkwad husband in order to direct the course of her own life and is not eternally punished by the Invisible Hand, this book was probably quite the scandale in its day. And I adore scandale, so I wish I liked the whole thing more. But by modern standards, it really seems to be the story of a headstrong prig and the twerp (not her husband) who loves her. Reading it through a historical lens, it's a very interesting look at a woman verging on independence, and her effect on a small rural town. And it's not a painful read.

It is however a painful listen. Lordamighty. Shaky use of character voices and bizarre attempts at differentiating regional accents. Can't tell if it's a bad microphone, or she just moved around too much for the sound tech to compensate. Weird cuts that repeat the same line over. Sloppy. Kind of a disaster. If you can get this cheap, and really want to hear this story, go ahead, her voice quality is at least good (hopefully she'll get some coaching before she tries this again). But 12 or so hours is a long time to be driven nuts by this one.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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CLASSIC NOVEL BOTCHED BY A WRETCHED NARRATOR!

Audible sort of, um, lost my first review. I know they got it because on Day 2 when I checked, they said it was being looked at. That was over a week ago. Now, the best they can do is tell me to rewrite it! Mary Sarah Whatzername is still a terrible reader who is still in a hurry and doesn't know how to pronounce paroxysm and a number of other good English words! I agree with the other reviewer who suggested this narrator had to "use the facilities" and they wouldn't let her out of the recording booth until she finished the book! It's two hours shorter than the other version I just finished listening to.

So here you are, audible! I will give dear Anne Bronte's masterpiece a good review under the other version. In listening to that version with male and female narrators including Ms. Agutter, a number of new truths came out that I completely missed in Ms. Agliotta's breathy, hurried rendition. Every word is beautiful!

This was $1.95 absolutely wasted!

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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a deep and beautiful novel

The plot and character development in this book are excellent. The social milieu and atmosphere are beautifully and gracefully evoked. I recommend this book to any reader who has ever enjoyed a novel by any of the brilliant Bronte sisters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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story shines despite recording issues

the audio quality was often poor and irregular, with the s sounds being particularly harsh, volumes fluctuating often between chapters, and lines jarringly repeated for either clarity or performances sake. however, if the audio issues had been mitigated, the performance itself was nicely done, and the story told in a heartfelt fashion that suited it very well. overall I only hope that further recordings with this reader have better equipment, more apt to capture her performance, and better editors, to avoid the pitfalls of unnecessary repetition.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • sugarplum4
  • 07-07-16

Enjoyable once you change narration speed

The speed of the narration was too fast. I had to change it from x1 to x0.75 to make it bearable.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Maire Reier
  • 03-27-16

lovely company this book is..

this book is a lovely company. nicely read. someone said that they couldn't follow the dialogue because the voices were not too distinct, which is true, but I didn't think it was a problem. I loved the tone of her voice, it suits the style of the novel very much.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Dr
  • 10-13-12

Awful narration

It was impossible to listen to this audiobook as the narration was so awful. What a shame.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Katy Skelton
  • 09-10-17

beautiful ending, not very well narrated

gripping beginning, lost will to live in middle, beautiful end, awful narrator, but a classic

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • little nellie kelly
  • 03-08-16

Tenant of Wildfell Hall

I enjoyed hearing this book read to me as it was more interesting as I don't think I would have read it myself. Just a bit mixed up with the characters as there was no difference in the narraters voice to distinguish who was the first named one. All in all narrater did a good read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-24-17

Very poor narration.

This great story suffers from the feminine voice of the narrator, worsened by the prim, north American accent, devoid of characterisation or versatility.
Many words are mis-pronounced as though they were read for the first time (or perhaps American pronunciation). The emphasis, stress and rhythm are totally wrong for literature of this period, and certainly for the region the book is set in. So disappointing.

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  • Laureem Mainey
  • 11-15-17

Why the American accent?

As with many Brontë stories the pace is slow even if the language is beautiful old English. The question then is why was this story, set in early Victorian England, read aloud by an American? She read well but her pronunciation of many words was completely Americanised and painful to listen to. One word repeated many, many times was “inquiry” and was pronounced “inkwerie” by the reader. Added to that was a terrible attempt at an Irish accent - thankfully towards the end of the story.
The sound quality of this changes through too, so you will find yourself turning the volume up or down when there is a change of chapter.

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  • Fiona
  • 10-31-17

A fair story ruined

Such awful narration that I wonder how long the woman has been reading English. Completely mispronounced and at some points she's obviously never seen the words before and phonetically spells them out like a 6 year old. I've enjoyed the book before on paper so I could work out what was said but I spent so much time cross that it wasn't worth it. obliged is NOT pronounced oh-blah-ged! Audible please review your content!

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  • Amanda Bowden
  • 09-26-17

typically good story tainted by reader

narration stilted likenit was the first time shes read aloud almost gave up as it was so poor but perseveres as wanted to know the story. wouldve been better to buy book and read.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-11-17

Excellent novel, very poor narration

a wonderful novel - a little spoiled by disappointing narration - words mispronounced, emphases in wrong places etc. What a shame a better narrator could not be found.

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  • Jane Alcorn
  • 05-02-17

Awful

This is a wonderful book that was completely ruined by the narrator... so many mispronounciations and mistakes. I have ordered another version as I was unable to listen to this one... that is a first for me... so bad.