Anne Brontë’s blazingly intelligent women brimming with hidden passions transformed English literature.
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is a sometimes-violent novel of expectation, love, oppression, sin, religion and betrayal.
It portrays the disintegration of the marriage of Helen Huntingdon, the mysterious tenant of the title, and her dissolute, alcoholic husband.
It then lays bare all of the shameful undercurrents of marriage in the Victorian age, particularly for a woman who was unwise or just unlucky enough to seriously misjudge the man she married.
It was criticized for being 'coarse' and 'brutal' while challenging the social conventions of the early nineteenth century in defense of women's rights in the face of psychological abuse from their husbands.
Anne Brontë's bold novel is an exploration of a woman's struggle for creative freedom and domestic independence that caused a scandal upon publication and continues to speak powerfully nearly two hundred years after its publication.
Anne Brontë (1820 – 1849) was an English novelist and poet, the youngest member of the Brontë literary family. She lived most of her life with her family at the parish of Haworth on the Yorkshire moors, publishing a volume of poetry with her sisters (Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell, 1846) and two novels. Agnes Grey, based upon her experiences as a governess, was published in 1847. Her second and last novel, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, which is considered to be one of the first sustained feminist novels, appeared in 1848. Like her poems, both her novels were first published under the masculine pen name of Acton Bell. Anne's life was cut short when she died of tuberculosis at the age of 29. Because Charlotte Brontë prevented the re-publication of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall after Anne's death, she is not as well known as her sisters. However, her novels, like those of her sisters, have become classics of English literature.