Customer Reviews


176 Reviews
5 star:
 (104)
4 star:
 (46)
3 star:
 (20)
2 star:
 (6)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Travesty
Don't let my title fool you. What I mean is, it is a travesty Anne Bronte does not have the same literary fame as her sisters, Charlotte and Emily. Indeed both Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights are classics but so is The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and should be up there among them.

The reason this novel is not placed on the same pedestal as the other two is because...
Published on 13 Feb 2007 by Huggy

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very much of its age!
Once one had got used to the preaching and tract like qualityof parts of this book, it proved an interesting insight into the Vioctorian mind on various issues such as marriage, the solitary woman and how difficult it was for her to make inroads into a life that she was able to dictate.
Published 15 months ago by John Helliwell


‹ Previous | 1 218 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Travesty, 13 Feb 2007
This review is from: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
Don't let my title fool you. What I mean is, it is a travesty Anne Bronte does not have the same literary fame as her sisters, Charlotte and Emily. Indeed both Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights are classics but so is The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and should be up there among them.

The reason this novel is not placed on the same pedestal as the other two is because of the subject matter. In the early 19th century a woman's job as a wife was to pander to her husband's every need. If he was a drunk or an abuser so be it, all she should do is make the most of it. Anne had very different ideas, ideas which are more late 20th century than early 19th century. To leave your husband was in those times unthinkable. To write about alcohol abuse was even more of a taboo. In the preface to Wuthering Heights/Agnes Grey Charlotte wrote that the subject matter in this book was unsuitable and a mistake. Because Charlotte did not think much of it she did not push for its acceptance in the mainstream after Anne's very early death. That was a mistake. There are also rumours Charlotte destroyed a second manuscript of Emily's. Another mistake if it is true.

Personally I think it is better written and formulated than Jane Eyre. It's most certainly better written than Wuthering Heights. I think Anne Bronte should be elevated to the heights (no pun intended) of Charlotte, Emily, Jane Austen et al. Read this and you will not be disappointed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very under-rated work, 10 Mar 2002
Anne Brontė seems to have been overshadowed by her two sisters. Hardly surprising, but this is a great work in itself and should not be ignored. Her sister Charlotte did not like it much, she said it was unworthy of publication - but of course, she said the same about Jane Austen's works (whose style is similar to Anne's).
It traces, with remarkable frankness, the collapse of a woman's marriage to an abusive husband (who is loosely based on Brontė's brother Branwell), and her escape from him. The characters have odd and endearing foibles, and one never loses interest as the book progresses.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Under rated Bronte classic, 20 Dec 2011
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I am a great fan of Charlotte Bronte and decided I should give her sister Anne a go, we don't hear much about her. Well, well, why is this book not rated more highly more often? It's not a tale for the faint hearted, as it recounts an abusive marriage. However, it's not all doom and gloom as there's also a sweet romance to follow.

Anne Bronte must have taken inspiration from experience of her brother's alcoholism and the effect it had on those around him and I would also guess she had witnessed domestic abuse, as it follows a fairly classic pattern. Bear in mind she wouldn't have had access to the kind of media generated factual and fictional accounts of such relationships that we have now. Perhaps she saw something when she was a governess.

This was much better than I was expecting it to be. There's so much emphasis on Charlotte and Emily Bronte that I think Anne has been shamefully over-shaddowed. She holds her own along side her sisters with this book and she raises many issues that would have been quite unspeakable in their time.

Even if you're not a Bronte fan, this is well worth a read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If only she could have written more., 14 Jan 2009
By 
Alun Williams "mathematician manqué" (Peterborough,England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
I avoided reading any books by the Brontė sisters for many years, after failing to finish Villette, and then being put off further by Charlotte Brontė's well-known remarks about Jane Austen. After coming across an old copy of Jane Eyre I decided it was time to give the sisters another chance. I quite enjoyed Jane Eyre; Wuthering Heights, which I read next, I liked less. Then I turned to Anne, not expecting much more than a paler version of her sisters' works.

Instead I find myself reading one of the most powerful English 19th century novels there can be, reminiscent of Dickens in its exposure of the hypocrisies and wrongs of society, but with shock and anger against these expressed not by the author, but aroused in the reader by Anne's unsparing descriptions of events.

"The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" is the story of a mysterious woman, Helen Graham, apparently a young widow with a child, and the development, after initial suspicion on her part, of friendship and finally love for a local farmer named Gilbert Markham. But, much more darkly, it is the story of a woman who learns the real nature of her adulterous husband, as he gradually descends into neglect and then abuse (of both her and their child), and is ravaged by alcoholism.

Few men of the time would have dared to write so frankly on such topics, and for a woman to have done so, especially one of Anne's background, is verging on the heroic, and must be counted a remarkable achievement.

At times the heroine, Helen, may strike some readers as pious or priggish - she reminded me of Fanny Price in Mansfield Park - and the author's firmly expressed Christian beliefs may also put some off. But nobody can fail to admire Helen's courage, endurance, and determination to protect her son.

Another review also suggests that Gilbert is not well drawn. However, I enjoyed the portrayal of his relations with his family and neighbours, though it is true that he is perhaps unaccountably violent and over-emotional at some points.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good tale with a point, 18 Mar 2008
I've seen several reviewers say that Anne Bronte's Tenant of Wildfell hall would never reach the status of the her sister's most famous works. I beg to differ. Her novel was simply written before its time.

The tale is about more than the disintegration of a marriage or about alcoholism. It's a startling portrayal of a man exclusively devoted to his own pleasure and amusement. Such people are often fun to be around and make the life of the party. Ultimately, they cannot be depended upon and make terrible spouses and parents as Helen discovered.

There was one scene I found particularly insightful. It is near the beginning when Helen is at a social gathering at Gilbert Markham's. When the company hears her statement that she wanted her son to hate drinking, they immediately go into a defence of drinking, completely unaware of what she had fled from. Their arguments sounded almost sinister to me since I already knew from reading the dustwrapper that her husband was an alcoholic.

The Collector's Library edition is the best one out there. Small and schleppable like a paperback but sturdy and beautifully made.

A very worthy and well-crafted tale from Anne Bronte. I will read it again.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good, 22 Nov 2007
By 
Mrs. K. A. Wheatley "katywheatley" (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
Anne is often classed as the least talented of the Bronte sisters. In this book certainly, she can however hold her head up. She, like her sisters, takes a subject which was considered unacceptable for women to write about and turns it into a fantastically complex and richly rewarding novel.
Here she deals with the subject of alcoholism and its detrimental effects on a family. The knowledge of this is often supposed to come from her own family's dealings with their alcoholic and drug addicted brother, Branwell Bronte, and it is certain that she does have some experience of such issues, wherever they come from, because she writes with a passion and humanity that ring true.
The story is interesting because it deals with what happens to a woman who marries a man who is no good. In Victorian times there were very limited options for women of the middle classes. If they didn't marry they were forced to endure life as either a governess or a dependent of more affluent members of their family. Marriage was the best of a bad bunch, but what to do when that marriage is a living hell and you have few means of escape.
Here, the heroine, Helen, escapes from her rakehell husband for the sake of her young son, and lives a life of isolation in the country. Her burgeoning friendship and love for Gilbert Markham turns her carefully sought sanctuary upside down and puts her in an even more difficult position than previously.
This is realistic, well plotted and is incredibly suspenseful. You feel for the characters and their difficulties. If they follow their natural instincts they will be forced to break away from the society that both cocoons and imprisons them. It is this dilemma which forms the axis of the tension within the book. Great stuff.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A most modern book, 26 Jan 2001
By A Customer
This book should be a must-read for all women about to marry. The story's moving force is the heroine's decision to marry her husband despite knowing he has a dark side. She believes that she will be able to reform him, but the book shows how mistaken she is and how she finds herself trapped and constanty struggling to protect her son. I don't agree that her new love is a bore, his is just not as (undoubtely) interesting as a character as her husband, but he is I believe a good person. Anne Bronte proves with this and her other book what a great loss her premature death was.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vastly underated., 31 Oct 2006
Overshadowed by her sisters, (although for my part I am not sure why) Annes quiet approach is very enjoyable and engaging and I really empathised with the characters. Why this is not more renowned I do not know. A true classic and a nice lenght too. I am now just moving onto Agnes Gray!

I would recommend this to anyone interested in literature of this period to read this. Very enjoyable.

Sorry for the lack of apostrophes in this review my computer is throwing a wobbly.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost anarchic for its time, 20 Dec 2009
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Anne always seems to be the leftover Bronte: not a genius like the reclusive Emily, or as prolific as Charlotte. But this novel shows her to be as rebellious as her sisters, albeit in a more realistic and socially-aware way.

This story of a romantic marriage over-turned and the survival of the wife is subversive and almost anarchic for the time in which it was written, and still manages to shock today.

Detailed, convincing and sometimes very painful, it is the dark underside to the sparkling romances of Austen and others which end with the marriage of the happy couple.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellant book, well worth the read!, 28 May 2001
By A Customer
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall tells the story of a young woman named Helen who comes to live on the Yorkshire Moors in a semi-derilect house with her young son Arthur and her loyal servant. Once the mistress of a luxurious house, this drastic step is necessitated by a need to rid her son from the corrupting influence of his reckless and almost always intoxicated father, and to escape herself from the humiliation of living with a husband who no longer loves her, and who takes pleasure from flauting his mistresses openly to her.
Assuming a new name and establishing herself as an artist to support herself and her son, Helen finds herself the subject of gossip and mistrust amongst almost all of the local population. Although living in constant fear of discovery by her husband, Helen attempts to make a success of her new life, a life made more bearable by the friendship of local yeoman farmer Gilbert.
But will Helens secret identity be able to remain a secret forever or will her past eventually catch up with her and threaten to destroy her budding romance with Gilbert?
This is an extremely well written book and is rather neglected alongside the successful novels written by her sisters Emily and Charlotte Bronte.
The book contains the passion and drama set around the Moors which you would expect from a Bronte, but it also presents an interesting critique about the place and role of women in 19th century England.
This classic novel is well worth reading.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 218 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (Wordsworth Classics)
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (Wordsworth Classics) by Anne Brontė (Paperback - 1 Oct 1996)
£1.89
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews