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Old 11-13-2007, 07:37 PM   #1
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Brontë, Anne: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, IMP, v.1, 14 Nov 2007.

First published in 1848, this is a novel that was roundly condemned. The author’s sister, Charlotte Brontë called it ‘an entire mistake’. Several circulating libraries refused it on the grounds of the ‘coarseness’ of some of its themes. Today it is seen as an early feminist work.

The heroine has made an imprudent marriage, incorrectly believing that she could reform her alcoholic and dissipated husband. When things go wrong she closes the bedroom door against him (-- the mention of this shocked contemporary readers) but she does not leave him until he installs a mistress in the house, claiming that she is a governess.

By the end of the novel most readers will feel that the heroine has suffered enough; yet the author insists on marrying her to an impulsive, yet priggish young man.
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