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The Tenant of Wildfell HallNote Editions of The Tenant that start with You must go back with me are incomplete Actual opening line of the novel is To J Halford Es D Reformed rakes make the best husbands This is the maxim that governs the universe of historical romance novels That a puerile assumption regarding dissolute cads turning into paragons of puritanical goodness on being administered the vital dosage of a virgin's 'love' fuels women's fantasies in this day and age depresses me to no end In a sense this is the dialectical opposite of Kerouac's On the Road in that it systematically demystifies a contrived notion of masculine 'coolness' the bastard child of a vile solipsism and unchecked aggression that the latter romanticized Women writers of today particularly those who are laughing all the way to the bank by mass producing this unforgivable blather wake the hell up The youngest Brontë sister saw the evil the cult of machismo breeds in young male children and portrayed it without inhibitions without holding anything back 150 years ago What are you still waiting for? It is all very well to talk about noble resistance and trials of virtue; but for fifty or five hundred men that have yielded to temptation show me one that has had virtue to resist And why should I take it for granted that my son will be one in a thousand? and not rather prepare for the worst and suppose he will be like this like the rest of mankind unless I take care to prevent it? Reading this nearly made me experience that same nightmare that is encapsulated in Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale Of course the horrors that Atwood delineated with an unsettling composure make you break out in gooseflesh while Helen's traumatic experiences are merely unpleasant But there's the same sick feeling of being held against one's will the same revulsion that threatens to overshadow all other emotions A blow by blow account of an abusive marriage and a woman being condemned to tolerating a melee hosted by drunken wife and child abusing reprobates day after infuriating day year after agonizing year will do that to you Especially when this picture of oppression is completed by the inexorable professions of love from overenthused admirers who do not take the matter of consent all that seriously Does that seem harrowing enough? Marriage may change your circumstances for the better but in my private opinion it is far likely to produce a contrary result That I am choosing to hold back a star is because Anne's writing lacks Emily's verve and Charlotte's intellectual rigour and that certain something which makes one wish to prolong the act of reading a book Her characterization is a bit wobbly as Helen is inconsistent throughout the length of the novel she is stringently insular against Gilbert's growing affection for her and suddenly she isn't she secures an escape route from her husband's den of debauchery and suddenly returns to that same hell when he is dying in an act of Christian compassion Besides the repeated attempts at making doctrinal virtue a crutch on which to balance her self assertion wearied me Yes yes this was the Victorian era I understandThe narrative is a bit lacking in an overall structural integrity This is particularly evident in the presence of certain generic plot devices and cliches that Anne employs to effect a reconciliation between Gilbert and Helen I would have been most happy if Gilbert had just been a mildly nosy townsman narrating the events because as a character he may not have been there at all PS Mary A Ward's introduction mentions how Branwell's alcoholism and reckless behaviour inspired Emily and Anne Brontë to recreate the same kind of violence in their fiction Heathcliff and Huntingdon were the results

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read kindle À The Tenant of Wildfell Hall × Paperback ☆ moneyexpresscard ò Note Editions of The Tenant that start with You must go back with me are incomplete Actual opening line of the novel is To J Halford Es Dear Halford when we were together lastThis is the story of a woman's strugIn flight from a disastrous marriage Exiled to the desolate moorland mansion she adopts an assumed name and earns her living as a painte 45 starsMove over Charlotte Make room for my new favorite BrontëIt is inevitable for me to compare Anne Brontë with her sisters and Helen Graham with Jane Eyre particularly but I shall momentarily do so anyway Some said this was better than any Brontë novel published some claimed it deeply overhyped After reading this I shall have to agree with the former claim as I thought this book surpassed to uite an extent the love I had for Jane EyreThe Tenant of Wildfell Hall shook me from the first page when I discovered that rather than the conventional female perspective the narrative opens with a letter penned by a male protagonist Gilbert Markham I am not the biggest fan of framed stories but this one was deeply engaging all the way through Through Gilbert’s letter we then dive into Helen’s diaries and her life which forms the majority of the novelHelen Graham is by far of the strongest female protagonist I have ever had the pleasure of reading about It’s not simply because she has been through an abusive relationship and needs to be pitied but because she bears through a lot of nonsense from her husband with such grace that there were points at which I was infuriated at her calmness She takes everything in strides“my bliss is sobered but not destroyed; my hopes diminished but not departed; my fears increased but not yet throughly confirmed”While this sort of pacifism is clearly harmful to her and her son’s existence in reality I have a difficult time criticizing her for bearing through so much before she finally decided to do what was right In such cases things were most certainly easier said than done So though I was angered by her mild reactions at times I cannot fault her in her decisions because I cannot claim something as definitively right or wrong given that I haven’t been through any sort of similar experience as sheBut generally though how could I not love Anne for shaping a character that is constantly being tested and yet never letting that deteriorate her from her and her son’s happiness In the end I would’ve completely understood Helen if she had given up on everything in life on striving to make peace but in the end she doesn’t let anyone destroy her existence And I just had to sit back and admire that for a moment Her patience was tested by than just one character and multiple times throughout but she always responds in a clear sensible manner Her hushed posture can easily be misconstrued for indifference by readers but I don’t think she is indifferent to anything merely aware of the prejudices against her and cynical of her environment because of itI cannot say whether I really liked or disliked Gilbert Markham but I have to argue that I was somewhat disappointed that we did not get to see a lot of interaction between him and Helen once the story is coming to an end Given all that Helen has gone through by the end of her diaries I expected her to be a bit cautious with her affections Similarly I was also a bit unsatisfied with the ending of Jane Eyre so I suppose it’s something that I will eventually have to get pastAnd lastly of course the controversial aspect of this novel and what makes it so fantastic is Helen’s relationship with her husband Anne Brontë is unflinchingly honest in her depiction of alcoholism and how that leads to an abusive marriage She is ruthless in her assertion of how women are shoved into a corner without a voice abused mistreated and exploited in their silence Brontë writes things which are hard to read about but even harder to comprehend as the realities of women—then and now Despite knowing that all of these things still continue to happen in our society and how much for the sake of propriety we force women into mute beings Brontë still managed to craft some sentences which punched me right in the gutHow could I not love something like this?

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Ear Halford when we were together lastThis is the story of a woman's struggle for independence Helen Graham has returned to Wildfell Hall Find the full sized image hereBefore we discovered Anne Brontë some of us fancied Heathcliff We wanted to fix him tame him soothe his tortured soul Or maybe if you preferred the mature and experienced man you craved Mr Rochester Perhaps you even draped yourself out of your bedroom window on stormy nights convinced that someone somewhere was calling to youNot any It's time to ditch those Byronic heroes everyone No ' mad bad and dangerous to know'; only sober honest men brimming with common sense from now onWow This woman was such a literary pioneer Who else can you name that effortlessly tackles marital abuse marital rape alcoholism drug addiction infant custody and female self determination all in one book? Anne Brontë the feminist writer we need but truly don't deserveThis merits a bad ass Brontë strut The Tenant of Wildfell Hall certainly reflects the religious orthodoxy of the time The emphasis on repentance may feel slightly archaic and outdated to the modern audience reading from a secular society but I don't think anyone can deny that it is superbly charged throughout with Anne's beautiful belief in universal salvation a uality that may very well never genuinely grace our pages again Nevertheless her boldness brutal honesty and elouence in proclaiming euality is timeless This is a stunning completely unflinching examination of marriage and its abuse The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is said to be the first sustained feminist novel Winifred Gérin even dubbed it the first ' manifesto for Women’s Lib' Now that’s a high honour and the novel is entirely deserving of it It caused absolute scandal when it was first published in 1847 selling out in just 6 weeks yep that's faster than both Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights which makes Anne the most successful of the sisters during their lifetimes So why the scandal? Well Anne depicts a woman who1 Leaves her womanizing alcoholic and abusive husband2 to make her own independent living 3 and takes her son with herLet’s clarify that in context in 1847 this wasn't just unusual; it was illegal Women were wholly subject to the control of their husband They could not own property or seek a divorce They didn't even have true possession of their childrenI would say 'fun fact' but it really really isn't marital rape was actually completely legal util 1991 So just imagine how shocking it was to contemporary readers when Helen the at times sanctimonious heroine refuses to have sex with her husband one drunken night locking herself away in her bedroom If this was effectively denying conjugal rights as recently as 1990 you can imagine how scandalous this was in 1847 Mary Sinclair commented in 1913 how the slamming of Helen Huntington’s bedroom door against her husband reverberated through Victorian England And I guess she must have slammed that door pretty hard because Charlotte Brontë refused to sanction further editions of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall after Anne’s death in 1849 In fact it wasn't printed again officially until 1859 and that fly by night edition was butchered; it was ruthlessly edited to suish the intended three volume novel into just one Now it's debatable as to whether Charlotte did this as a bit of bitchy revenge out of jealousy for Anne's success or if she was just terrified of public opprobrium but either way it sucked that she did it at all Anne however was not fussed about the scandal she'd caused She wanted to prove a point this is a campaigning novel In the scalding preface to the second edition in which she defended herself she said “ I wished to tell the truth; for truth always conveys its own moral”Amen The Tenant of Wildfell Hall was written in deliberate protest against the social conventions of the time Anne wrote from personal experience; witnessing her brother Branwell deteriorate into alcoholism and drug addiction having had a disastrous affair with the wife of the employer he shared with Anne She had him secured the position as a personal tutor herself already being the family's governess As a result she felt responsible for Branwell’s devolution Essentially she wrote The Tenant of Wildfell Hall as a warning she wanted to save others from the same fate cautioning young men about the conseuences of excess and enlightening young women of the perils of bad menI think in many ways I respected this novel than I enjoyed it Rather than being plot driven it's very much introspective The romance is a lukewarm at best and there's not the slightest whiff of anything supernatural Maybe that’s part of the reason why Anne’s work isn't as well remembered as Emily’s or Charlotte’s that and crucially she refused to glamorize an oppressive man Arthur Huntington is not a romanticized brooding Byronic hero he’s an arsehole And Anne tells us that blatantly well words to that effect anyway living with a self destructive husband is not thrilling or exciting not even in theoryAnne Brontë is possibly the most underestimated voice in English literature George Moore endowed her with the less than flattering epithet of a ‘ literary Cinderella’ always in the shadow of her two sisters But she is not in their shadow because of an inferior intellect as so many critics have claimed And prowess is not necessarily measured by endurance If only she had lived longer she would've been able to defend her work from both the hostile critics and she'd already done this once and importantly from her sister Charlotte Anyone poised to attack me with the specious argument that Anne was also the least spirited of the sisters should seriously reevaluate that claim this remorseless attack of social convention completely and utterly belies that image of docile pensive AnneThe result of Charlotte's interference? Anne's not on the school curriculum You probably won’t be forced to read her stuff for an exam even at university level But I strongly urge you to read The Tenant of Wildfell Hall of your own volition An incredible novel subversive compelling refreshing and sadly relevant