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The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Cover of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

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Like her sisters Emily and Charlotte, Anne Brontë published under a male pseudonym, yet still this novel was scorned by many for its exposure of the abusive male chauvinism that was concealed, like all things sexual, during the Victorian Era.

Just as Anne had to use a male pseudonym in order to publish, Helen Graham, the novel's protagonist and a battered wife, must assume an alias in order to gain freedom from her suffering. With her young child, Helen takes up residence at Wildfell Hall, shrouding her past in secrecy yet earning the attentions of a young unmarried country gentleman. Anne Brontë employs the atmosphere of the bleak Yorkshire moors and the cold, rugged gloom of the fictional mansion to set the stage for a tragedy that reveals the secret violence in a society considered well-mannered.

With a powerful plot that reveals the troubles of the times, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is now lauded as a classic of Victorian literature.

Like her sisters Emily and Charlotte, Anne Brontë published under a male pseudonym, yet still this novel was scorned by many for its exposure of the abusive male chauvinism that was concealed, like all things sexual, during the Victorian Era.

Just as Anne had to use a male pseudonym in order to publish, Helen Graham, the novel's protagonist and a battered wife, must assume an alias in order to gain freedom from her suffering. With her young child, Helen takes up residence at Wildfell Hall, shrouding her past in secrecy yet earning the attentions of a young unmarried country gentleman. Anne Brontë employs the atmosphere of the bleak Yorkshire moors and the cold, rugged gloom of the fictional mansion to set the stage for a tragedy that reveals the secret violence in a society considered well-mannered.

With a powerful plot that reveals the troubles of the times, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is now lauded as a classic of Victorian literature.

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  • Text Difficulty:
    11 - 12

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About the Author-
  • Anne Brontë was born in Yorkshire in 1820. The Brontë children were raised in an isolated parsonage, where they thrived in fantasy worlds that drew on their voracious reading of Byron, Scott, Shakespeare, and Gothic fiction. Anne's first novel, Agnes Grey, was published together with her sister Emily's Wuthering Heights in 1847. She died of tuberculosis in 1849, shortly after Emily and their brother Branwell died of the same illness.

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Helen Graham has taken up residence in the bleak Wildfell Hall with her young son to escape her alcoholic and philandering husband. The story is narrated both by Helen and the man who falls in love with her. Frederick Davidson and Nadia May take the roles of the storytellers, and they do an excellent job of portraying both the male and female voices. May reads Helen's diary and correspondence. May's voice is young, fresh and naive, well-suited to Helen as a young woman; the voices of the men are excellent as well. Her laughter sounds genuine, and her portrayal of drunken men is perfect. She moves the narrative along crisply, with just the right touch of drama. Davidson's voicing is also excellent, but he tends to overdramatize at times, and his tempo is just a shade too fast. The choice to use both male and female narrators was a good one, enlivening the story and underlining the differences between the sexes in Victorian England. S.S.R. (c) AudioFile, Portland, Maine
  • AudioFile Frederick Davidson and Nadia May take the roles of the storytellers, and they do an excellent job of portraying both the male and female voices....The choice to use both male and female narrators was a good one, enlivening the story and underlining the differences between the sexes in Victorian England.
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    Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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