Maddie Senator's Reviews > The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë
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's review
May 29, 2013

really liked it

I found this book on my parents' library shelves and decided that it was time to give the last Bronte sister a read. I wasn't disappointed; the story kept me interested the whole time and I ate it up. I found Anne's insights into human nature to be very deep and wise for someone her age. I feel that at my similar age I can understand human nature well, but to write so many varied characters, each with their own believable depth and complexity, is no small feat. Anne also had a very clear understanding of God's word and spoke through the character of Helen in some very beautiful passages relating to it. There were also many perceptive thoughts about how the ideal marriage union should be: that your marriage partner is an extension or yourself; that one should protect their partner from slander; that one should try to conceal their spouse's problems instead of announcing them to all their friends; and that loyalty and fidelity should be strictly observed. What ideas! If only more people thought the same way now.

I thought Helen Huntingdon very easy to sympathize with and respect. Gilbert Markham also became a character I cared for. The plot is intriguing to say the least, and the romance tender. One must wonder, however, why each of the Bronte sisters wrote about such strange/awful/unusual men? We have Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre, who, though not evil, definitely had his vices; Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights who was clearly mad; and now Arthur Huntingdon, a manipulative, selfish drunkard who abused his wife. I have reason to believe that it might be because of their brother, Branwell, who was painted out of the family portrait. Time to do some research.
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