Monday, June 18, 2012
Review: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
Book: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
Published by Wordsworth Classics, 1994
Genre: Classics/Victorian Literature/English Literature
I got this book via paperbackswap.com
This book counts towards Allie’s Victorian Reading Challenge.
Synopsis via Goodreads: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall challenged the prevailing morals of the Victorian era. Especially shocking, at the time, was Helen's slamming of her bedroom door in the face of her husband, thereby overturning the sexual politics. It is considered to be one of the first feminist novels. The main character, Helen, is spirited and forthright, unafraid to speak to the men in her life with frankness. Anne Bront portrays this as desirable, compared to the meekness of Milicent, who is trampled and ignored by her unrepentant husband. Vice is not unique to the men, however; Lady Lowborough's adultery has a particularly devastating effect on her husband, and the malice of Eliza Millward is poisonous to the entire community.
I am never disappointed by the Bronte sisters. This is the first book that I have read by Anne Bronte and it may be my new favorite.
I love how this novel makes you feel so many emotions as the novel progresses. At first, I thought that Gilbert was rather boorish and Helen was far too opinionated for her own good. (Far more opinionated then Austen protagonists ever hoped to be). I originally thought that Eliza was a very interesting, sweet character who was worthy of Gilbert’s affections no matter what his mother’s opinions might be. Misjudged that one.
I love that the romance in this novel is a slow burn. I makes the novel more interesting and it was very hard for me to put down; despite the tiny tiny print. There are a lot of misunderstandings in the book and at times it’s a bit frustrating that things aren’t fixed as easily as they could be because someone has to be stubborn. Parts of the novel are so heartbreaking.
I really loved Gilbert more and more as the book went on. He was so honorable and quite a badass, I must say But my favorite character by far was Helen’s young son, Arthur. He was the most adorable character ever. I loved well behaved children in novels.
I can’t wait to read more of the novels by the Bronte sisters that I have sitting on my bookshelf. This novel was a great way to start Allie’s Victorian Reading Challenge.