The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

By Anne Brontë
Read by Frederick Davidson and Wanda McCaddon

15.70 Hours 12/01/1998 unabridged
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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.

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Summary

Summary

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.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Frederick Davidson and [Wanda McCaddon] 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.” AudioFile
“Of the three Brontë sisters, Emily and Charlotte are better known, yet it is Anne’s work which carries some of the strongest…themes…While the plot continues and mysteries are unraveled, what Helen and Gilber say…reinforces Anne Brontë’s indictment of the sexual double standards of nineteenth-century Britain.” Erica Bauermeister, 500 Great Books by Women
“Every reader who has felt the power of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights comes, sooner or later, to The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Anne Brontë, with all the Brontë taste for violence and drama…did not shrink. She used the material at hand, and shaped it with singular honesty and seriousness…Anne is a true Brontë.” Margaret Lane, Brontë scholar

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Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Anne Brontë

Anne Brontë (1820–1849) was born in Yorkshire, the youngest of six children. Her mother died within a year of her birth, and her two eldest siblings died four years later. The Brontë children were raised in an isolated Yorkshire 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 in a volume together with Emily’s Wuthering Heights in 1847. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall reflects her brother Branwell’s gradual descent into alcoholism, drug addiction, and madness. Both Branwell and Emily died of tuberculosis in 1848; Anne succumbed to the same illness in 1849.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Classics
Runtime: 15.70
Audience: Adult
Language: English