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39 of 39 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 18 months ago by Amazon Customer


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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hopeless, 3 Mar 2013
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It has not been delivered to my kindle so cannot read it despit the fact that Amazon tell me it has!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 27 July 2014
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Enjoyable
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ok if you like a bronze novel, 9 Jun 2014
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Rather long winded but quite a good story. Obviously based on her brother Branwell' s life. But nowhere near as good as Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 8 Oct 2014
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Good
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Uneven book - Warning for SPOILERS !, 25 Oct 2008
1848 was quite a year in History : everywhere in Europe, but perhaps most specifically in France, revolutions were carried by those who felt were left out of the system. Flaubert wrote about it in L'Education Sentimentale. And in a way, the revolutionary elements of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall allow me to say that Anne Brontė, on another level, wrote very much about 1848 too.

The book is presented as a series of narratives reminiscent of the complex struture of Wuthering Heights : Mr Markham, a kind farmer, writes letters to his brother-in-law confiding in him his feelings towards a woman, Mrs Graham, who has just lent the house nearby and who seems to be a widow living alone with her son. Her moral principles and I would say austerity surprise the whole community not used to meeting a woman who takes such great care of her offspring so as to protect him from great or harmless dangers and everything in between. As the story enfolds, Markham gets closer and closer to Mrs Helen Graham even though this advancement can and should be contrasted with the polite coldness with which she accepts his attentions. One day, and this is the second level of narrative, she decides she wants him to understand what happened to her and gives him her diary in which we learn that she and little Arthur, her son, were abused by a self-indulgent, drunk and sadistic (in that he knows exactly what he's doing and takes pleasure in doing it) husband and father, Mr Huntington. To protect her and little Arthur's life, Helen had to flee and live as a recluse in a small village.

As the introduction to my edition reminded me, during the whole book, Helen is an outlaw. Not only was it shocking and not proper for a woman to leave her husband and taking the fruit of the marriage with her, it was just plain illegal and in surrendering her diary to Markham, Helen understands she might as well go to the nearest police station. It did strike me that the most revolutionary part of the story was delivered to us second-hand (by a character who reads the journal containing the story), we are deprived of an expected first-hand account of the events but with a publication in 1848, the heyday of the victorian era, it could be seen as a means for Brontė to somewhat stiffle its power. It is subversive in that it is an appealing portrait of an outlaw but also because in the middle of the 19th century it contains an allusion to suicide (and not related to the one you'd think).
Of course, there's no arguing this is also a feminist book and very much so - Anne Brontė's makes her point very clearly : in victorian society, women have no status and their only goal in life is to live for somebody else, be it husband (wives) or father (and daughters). Helen has to support herself and Arthur through art. It also depicts the struggle of one person trying to fit boundaries, especially religious and moral ones, when she has broken every other boundary society had imposed on her. It is difficult to warm to Helen for just that reason : even though 21st century readers of course sympathize and understand very well what she's done, because of her austerity (she constantly refers to religion and the Bible, even quoting specific characters of the book to answer questions she's being asked, as my edition very cleverly shows it in its explanatory notes), we are prevented from ever relating to her. If her action is understandable, the part when she falls for Huntington before agreeing to marrying him is way less justifiable : all the clues are already here, he is jealous, spoilt and enjoys teasing her and making her ill-at-ease, yet she is attracted to that dangerous, reckless part of him. Because of this rather cold main protagonist, the reader has to rely on subplots and other characters to keep him or her satisfied, especially in the first part of the book which has many elements of the detective novel : Mr Lawrence is believed by Markham to be wooing Helen although several clues are given to some other connection between them, and Helen herself is a mystery during a great part of the book, an adulterous affair between two married people has to be deciphered. The sirupy end was just another a testament of Brontė's uneven style.
Even though Anne Brontė's realistic book kept me interested throughout, I think the way she portrays her characters could have been improved. It is of course way more radical than her sisters' works on the one hand (feminism) but on the other it indulges in some austerity her sisters don't depict this much and I couldn't justify this part. This left me with a feeling of coldness and distance, a shame for a book that contains so much fire.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars tedious, 17 Sep 2014
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just too many same words
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very much of its time., 11 Sep 2013
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Men and women having to abide by strict rules governing their love/sex lives. Women having no power over their own destiny - very much of its time. A little bit tedious.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good, 31 July 2013
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It took a while to get into her flowery way of talking,but once I got that,thoroughly enjoyed the book. It keeps you interested all the way.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars fasinatingly boring, 26 May 2013
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the tenant is a boring prig very religous, deserves all she gets, but the book is of its age, and I read it to the end
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disapointed, 24 April 2013
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After hearing positive reviews regarding this book I decided to read it. I have to admit that the only reason I finished the book was because I was sure there would be something else in the story. As an avid reader of anne's sister charlotte I have to admit I expected more and was disapointed with the story line.
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