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Oscar Wilde once described a second marriage as “the triumph of hope over experience”, and these words are only too true in the case of Helen Huntingdon, heroine of Anne Brontë’s powerful novel, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Helen’s first marriage is miserable, violent and lonely, but she is a strong heroine who emerges from the experience wiser and able to make a better choice. Her second love affair is markedly different from her first.
This was a novel that shocked the Victorian reading public – “coarse”, “brutal” and “morbid revelling in scenes of debauchery”, were just some of the insults thrown at it. Critics felt she had focused on morbid and disagreeable subjects, and that her book should not be read by young females. However, the novel also excited readers and within a month of publication, a second edition was being prepared. I think it is a remarkably modern novel and still highly relevant today.
In this entertaining and detailed 23-page monograph Susannah Fullerton takes us on a journey into the world of Anne Brontë to discover an honest and moving account of a troubled marriage. It includes a companion list of books for further reading. Just perfect for discussions and book clubs!
FREE ONLINE COMPANION
Once you have received your Anne Brontë & The Tenant of Wildfell Hall monograph add more enjoyment to it with a FREE Online Companion. Susannah has prepared this recommended reading list to accompany Anne Brontë & The Tenant of Wildfell Hall with a list of resources.
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