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Thread: The Tennant of Wildfell Hall

  1. #1
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    The Tennant of Wildfell Hall

    I feel that the Tennant of Wildfell Hall stands alone as
    great literature, and should not be judged on the basis of
    how it promotes ones socio-political agenda (feminism), a
    proposition which is doubtfull in itself.
    I am amazed that Anne Bronte is almost the forgotten
    sister. Some feel that she owes the novel to Emily because
    of some supposed connections to Wuthering Heights. I
    have read both, and feel there is some similarity in subject
    matter, but greatly different approaches.
    It is interesting that some feel that girls should not read
    this when Anne essentially wrote it as a warning for them
    not to follow the path of Helen huntingdon.

    Scott

  2. #2
    Registered User Vedrana's Avatar
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    Yes, I have always been surprised that Anne is not as popular as her sisters, and it makes me feel annoyed as well. There was something about Anne's style that made her more of a favourite with me than with her sisters. There are people who prefer Charlotte and Emily, but I am the opposite, I think.

    Oh, the irony! I agree, the whole point was to educate young girls to stop and think about who they are marrying before just blindly consenting. Anyway...I am glad someone sees the genius that is Anne's work.

  3. #3
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    ive just finished this book.

    what a brilliant read i loved it,i didnt want it to end.for me anne is the greatest of the bronte sister,i loved agnes grey too.
    Most of the time I don't have much fun. The rest of the time I don't have any fun at all.
    Woody Allen

  4. #4
    Registered User poem2poes's Avatar
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    I really enjoyed The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. I read Agnes Grey early on, when I was infatuated with the idea of the Brontes, and I was disappointed by it. Agnes Grey was a pleasant country romance -- very typical and not special or brilliant. I dismissed Anne Bronte after that book.

    Then I stumbled on Tenant. Once again, it was through my ex-husband's small book collection in his West Indies studio apartment. It was one of the first ones I read through in that early period, and I was amazed.

    I admit the book is written a bit awkwardly, but the truth of the situation shines through, as does the heroine and the adolescent hero. He has to push through his country village conventions to get to the truth of the matter about the woman he loves. In doing this, he becomes a man. And how did Anne Bronte know about all this? Maybe because of a close connection with her brother. That is the only way, because she herself was very inexperienced. This book rivals Wuthering Heights as a Bronte classic, in my opinion.

  5. #5
    "Wildfell Hall" is one of my all-time favourite books, but I just had to register and post in response to what you said, poem2poes.

    Anne Bronte was not as sheltered as you propose, and I think it's a common error to assume the more shocking elements of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall came from her brother (of course, we can never know for sure). Of the 4 Bronte siblings, Anne spent the most time away from their home in Haworth (she's the only one not buried there, even); we can't be sure what she saw or did during her 6 years as Governess (5 of them with the Robinson family), but as Agnes Grey and Jane Eyre both show us, Governesses have ample opportunity to observe their "betters," without much chance to actuall interact with them. Who knows what sort of thing Anne might have seen (she scribbled "sick of mankind and their disgusting ways!" in the back of her prayerbook near the end of her time with the family). The Robinsons even took Anne with them on their vacations to posh sea-side resorts, which would have been crawling with interesting characters. I tend to think Anne's fine understanding of human interaction and character came from these places, rather than just from brother Branwell.

  6. #6
    Registered User jane-charlotte's Avatar
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    I agree with all here. Wildfell Hall succeeds at what it attempts and does it beautifully. Anne is definately a writer to be read and treasured; her thoughts and orchestration is clear and not overly sentimental--a good balance of reality and fancy.


    "But oh, that deep romantic chasm which slanted
    Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
    A savage place, as holy and enchanted
    As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
    By woman wailing for her demon-lover!"
    S.T. Coleridge "Kubla Khan"

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    I finished reading 'The Tenant of Wildfell Hall' a few days ago and I loved it!!
    I was impressed by the novel and think that Anne Brontė was a very good writer. I liked many parts very much. For instance, the part where Helen's aunt warns her about Mr. Huntingdon.

  8. #8
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    Welcome back, Carmilla. Unfortunately, I haven't read this novel so I can't talk to you about it. Maybe Kev has--he's more deeply read in the period than I am. I hope you don't go too far, though. The LitNetters who like to talk about literature have sadly been drifting away. It would only take the return of a few to turn things around, so it's heartening to see an informed and intelligent reader like you among us again. Don't forget about us!

  9. #9
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    Hello Pompey Bum!!
    Thank you for your kind words. It's great to share with you again!!

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