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The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – May 11, 2008


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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford World's Classics
  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; New edition (May 11, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199207550
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199207558
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.8 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (213 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #833,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"I will always order Lee A. Talley's Broadview edition of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, which I teach nearly every year. The historical and scholarly contexts are beautifully summarized. This is an eminently useful edition. Well done again, Broadview!" (Deborah Denenholz Morse)

"This Broadview Edition is a rich resource, unrivaled in its range of contextual materials. When you read them, you see where Anne Brontë was coming from and why she felt compelled to 'tell the truth' as she saw it. Lee A. Talley's clear, accessible introduction orients readers to issues that teachers will want to consider and that students and general readers will find eye-opening. The footnotes are useful and easy to access. I will always order this edition in the future." (Sue Lonoff)

"Lee A. Talley, in the introduction to her new edition of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, succinctly argues Anne Brontë's case for wanting to write and publish her disturbing but powerful story, even as she addresses Anne's own status as third sister, explains early publishing confusion (including Charlotte's pervasive influence on Anne's reputation), and evaluates the novel's first reviews. To allow readers their own judgments, Talley includes numerous helpful appendices placing Tenant within the legal, educational, and philosophical contexts of Victorian culture, and as with other Broadview texts, provides an extremely useful sampling of contemporary reviews." (Andrea Westcott) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

Over a short period in the 1840s, the three Brontë sisters working in a remote English
parsonage produced some of the best-loved and most-enduring of all novels: Charlotte's Jane Eyre, Emily's Wuthering Heights, and Anne's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, a book that created a scandal when it was published in 1848 under the pseudonym Acton Bell.
     Compelling in its imaginative power and bold naturalism, the novel opens in the autumn of 1827, when a mysterious woman who calls herself Helen Graham seeks refuge at the desolate moorland mansion of Wildfell Hall. Brontë's enigmatic heroine becomes the object of gossip and jealousy as neighbors learn she is escaping from an abusive marriage and living under an assumed name. A daring story that exposed the dark brutality of Victorian chauvinism, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall was nevertheless attacked by some critics as a celebration of the same excesses it criticized.
     "Every reader who has felt the power of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights comes, sooner or later, to The Tenant of Wildfell Hall," observed Brontë scholar Margaret Lane. "Anne Brontë, with all the Brontë taste for violence and drama, and with her experience of the same rude scenes and savage Yorkshire tales that had fed the imaginations of her sisters, did not shrink. She used the material at hand, and shaped it with singular honesty and seri-
ousness....Anne is a true Brontë."
     This edition of The Tenant of Wildfell
Hall is the companion volume to the Mobil Masterpiece Theatre WGBH television presentation broadcast on PBS.

The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. The series was founded in 1917 by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foun-dation for their next publishing venture, Random House. The Modern Library has been a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with affordable hard-bound editions of important works of liter-ature and thought. For the Modern Library's seventy-fifth anniversary, Random House redesigned the series, restoring as its emblem the running torchbearer created by Lucian Bernhard in 1925 and refurbishing jackets, bindings, and type, as well as inau-gurating a new program of selecting titles. The Modern Library continues to provide the world's best books, at the best prices.



The Modern Library of the World's
Best Books

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is a dramatic serial on Mobil Masterpiece Theatre, a public television series presented by WGBH-TV, Boston, made possible by a grant from the Mobil Corporation.

                                                            
"The Tenant of Wildfell Hall was conceived in the same atmosphere as Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. Wildfell Hall has power and imagination, and is so close to one of the tragedies in the sisters' own lives, that no perceptive reader can be indifferent to it."

                                                          --Margaret Lane
"I wished to tell the truth, for truth always conveys its own moral to those who are able to receive it."

                                                             --Anne Bronte --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

This book is at least as good (if not better) than her more famous sisters- Charlotte's "Jane Eyre" or Emily's "Wuthering Heights."
HMG
He was also a bit too brutish and rough at times for my taste, and not always very likeable, but that is the author's choice as to how she wrote her characters.
Misfit
The novel is a love story, an indictment against alcoholism and a story well told with well sketched characters to hold your attention.
C. M Mills

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Jana L. Perskie HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 12, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Young Helen Lawrence had just come out into society, and unfortunately two of her beaus, older men who, although settled, of good character and wealthy, didn't meet her romantic standards. I can't say that I blame the talented, attractive young woman. I was not particularly turned-on by either of the men, myself. Middle-aged, stodgy and tiresome, they were not the answer to an eighteen year-old's dreams - even a practical eighteen year-old. A third suitor, Arthur Huntington, handsome, charismatic, and known by some to be "destitute of principle and prone to vice," was obviously smitten by Helen, and she was drawn to him also. Her aunt emphasized that the young woman should, above all, look for character in a potential mate. She advised her niece to seek a man of principle, good sense, respectability and moderate wealth. She warned Helen away from Huntington, calling him a reprobate. Helen agreed that she should marry such a one whose character her aunt would approve of, but also argued that love should play a part in her selection. Meanwhile, Huntington, on his best behavior, continued to woo Helen until she finally accepted his proposal, on the condition of her relatives' approval. Helen knew that Arthur was somewhat deficient in sense, scruples and conduct. However, she also truly believed that with her own strong religious convictions and love, she could and would change him for the good. In spite of numerous examples of her beloved's past lechery and excesses, Helen insisted on the match. And so they married.

Within a few months Helen became much more familiar with her husband's character. He had no hobbies nor interests, as she did. She is a gifted painter, loves to read, enjoys the outdoors, and is not easily bored.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By StarSearcher on December 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
**** slight spoilers. nothing drastic *******
This story is about a young lady of a good family in England 1827. Her name is Helen and her buyer's remorse after marrying for love. She ends up marrying a swine in Arthur Huntington. You can see Arthur H's in any bar or pub. The scenes of his abuse are well done. There are times when his wife, the main protagonist, is being abused by one of his friends and he sits back in drunken reverie, laughing foolishly.

The novel itself is told in the epistolatory style, meaning it is told in a series of letters. The effect comes off well and it comes off as if you're reading the private lives of someone, getting their most intimate thoughts. If you like that style, I recommend the very different but very well done dangerous liasons.

In the story, Helen's suffering is well portrayed. The reader gets a good sense of how and why she does what she does. Time and time again, I'm amazed at how resourceful and knowing she is for a woman of her age (early 20's I believe). But as she said to her illicit would be lover later on, young in years but old in tears. I can feel the cruelty of the world around her. It is as if everyone is perfectly conscious of her sufferings but no one dare acts (although this changes later, as you'll find out).

The other protagonist, Gilbert Markham, is sort of a pompous fool. At one point he nearly kills Helen's brother. He's spellbound by love, yes, but I got the feeling that he just wasn't the kind and gentle type that you want Helen to end up marrying. Luckily most of the book revolves around Helen who is far more interesting because of how she handles her problems and her sheer resourcefulness.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Tigger VINE VOICE on September 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
Although Anne Bronte seems to be the least-known of the Bronte trio and only published two novels, this book has a more fascinating history to me than its more famous 'cousins', Wuthering Heights (Emily) and Jane Eyre (Charlotte). Not only was Wildfell the one to blow the lid on the male "Bell" pseudonyms the sisters had been writing under, but it's considered to be one of the world's first feminist novels, before that term existed. It was so controversial at the time of publication it was banned in many areas of Europe.

Written as one long letter - and a diary within a letter, like Kostova's The Historian - from protagonist Gilbert Markham to his brother-in-law on how he met his wife, Helen, most of the actual story is presented in diary form by Helen herself. Initially presented to the reader as a mysterious widow who arrives in a small English village (where she first meets Gilbert), she becomes, very much against her will, a source first of endless curiosity, and then a target of malicious gossip.

It then lays bare all of the shameful undercurrents of marriage in the Victorian age, particularly for a woman who was unwise or just unlucky enough to seriously misjudge the man she married. If you think it's a tough mistake to make now, only imagine its consequences in an age where divorce was rarely an option and you were almost always stuck with what you got, no matter how repugnant, immoral or tyrannical. Everything is here: adultery, alcoholism, abuse, alienation and humiliation.

At the time, Bronte was apparently skewered by hypocritical moralistic critics who felt she shouldn't have exposed this underbelly of Victorian society's mores - or more precisely, its lack of compassion or even recognition of what women were expected to endure.
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