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Well worth reading for a historical perspective on marriage
on 11 September 2015
Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre is one of my very favourite novels so I thought I would read something by Anne. The thing I love about Jane Eyre is the authenticity of the protagonist's voice - you get caught up in her story and you really want to know what happens next. Jane is a highly moral person, but the book it itself does not have a moralising tone. I found it much harder to wade through The Tenant of Wildfall Hall. The story is presented from the perspective of Gilbert Markham, who is writing to a friend about a mysterious woman, Helen Graham, who has moved into the neighbourhood. Gilbert's letters are so long and impossibly detailed, I really felt sorry for the friend. The language is more dated than that in Jane Eyre and there is a preaching tone throughout the book which grates after a while. Nevertheless, the perspective on nineteenth century relationships is fascinating, as it becomes apparent that Helen has fled from her abusive alcoholic husband. The subject matter was considered radical at the time and the book is worth reading for that reason, but it has aged much less well than Jane Eyre.