Tenant of Wildfell Hall (Collins Classics)

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9780007449903: Tenant of Wildfell Hall (Collins Classics)

HarperCollins is proud to present its range of best-loved, essential classics. 'I see that a man cannot give himself up to drinking without being miserable one-half his days and mad the other.' When Helen flees from her alcoholic husband in order to protect her son she defies societal convention. Earning a living as an artist, she becomes the mysterious tenant of Wildfell Hall as she hides herself away and uses her art to support her child. However, the beautiful and reclusive young woman soon begins to stir up malicious gossip and speculation. Captivated and drawn to Helen, Gilbert Markham becomes suspicious when he begins to hear these stories, however it is only when he reads Helen's diary that he learns the full cruelty that her husband subjected her to in her previous life. Rejecting the societal norms surrounding marriage in Victorian Society, Anne Bronte's novel, said to be based on the experiences of her own brother Branwell, shocked her readers at the time and still remains a scandalous read today.

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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.



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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

From the Back Cover:

Anne Brontë's second and last novel was widely and contentiously reviewed upon its 1848 publication, in part because its subject matter domestic violence, alcoholism, women's rights, and universal salvation was so controversial. The tale unfolds through a series of letters between two friends as one man learns more about Helen Huntingdon and the past that brought this young painter and single mother to Wildfell Hall. Powerfully plotted and unconventionally structured, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is now considered to be a classic of Victorian literature. This Broadview Edition includes a critical introduction that situates the novel in significant Victorian debates, and provides appendices that make clear Brontë's intellectual inheritance from important eighteenth-century writers such as Hannah More and Mary Wollstonecraft. Material on temperance, education, childrearing, and nineteenth-century women artists is also included in the appendices.

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