Sorcha's Reviews > The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë
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's review
Nov 04, 2011

bookshelves: 2007, classic

A much underrated and underread book, and one I prefer to Wuthering Heights.[return][return]A mysterious woman (with a child but no husband) moves into Wildfell Hall, and one of the local landowners Gilbert Markham becomes intrigued with her remoteness. Gilbert falls in love with Helen Graham, but feels that he is getting nowhere, and becomes suspicious of her relationship with her landlord.[return][return]Gilbert confronts her, and she reveals that she is in love with him, and hands over her diary for him to read. It provides reasons for her living apparently unmarried but with a child; her marriage to a violent drunken husband; her relationship with her landlord; her need and desire to protect her son; trying to earn a living in a society that does not allow women to independently have a serious job or career without the "protection" of a husband (living with a violent drunk always being preferred to walking away).[return][return]Rightly or wrongly I've always seen Gilbert as the "younger man". I think in terms of years, he is probably older than Helen, it's just in terms of emotional maturity and life lessons, she is much older than him. He has had a reasonably easy and unchallenging life whilst she has had so much to confront.

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