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The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (Anglais)


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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"A beautiful gift, and perfect gems for bookworms." (So Darling)

"The title of "the first feminist novel" has been awarded to other books, perhaps with less justice... a cracking page-turner" (Guardian)

"Courageous and controversial" (The Times)

"A powerful novel of expectation, love, oppression, sin, religion and betrayal" (Daily Mail)

"Frighteningly up-to-date tale of single motherhood and wife-battering" (Independent) --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

Présentation de l'éditeur

In “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall,” Gilbert Markham is deeply intrigued by Helen Graham, a beautiful and secretive young woman who has moved into nearby Wildfell Hall with her young son. He is quick to offer Helen his friendship, but when her reclusive behavior becomes the subject of local gossip and speculation, Gilbert begins to wonder whether his trust in her has been misplaced. It is only when she allows Gilbert to read her diary that the truth is revealed and the shocking details of the disastrous marriage she has left behind emerge... Helen, a devout young woman, had fallen in love with a handsome man with questionable; willing to believe she can alter his character, she marries him. Her marriage becomes a misery she has no power to change until she devises a bold plan to take control. Her story comes through two voices - her own and that of Gilbert Markham, a man who falls in love with Helen later in her life - and is told through journals and letters written over a period of time. Because of the privacy and immediacy of these narratives, the reader sees personal changes and attitudes Helen and Gilbert are often unaware of at the time: we witness Helen's first naive protestations of passion for her husband and follow her through her eventual disillusionment; we recognize Gilbert's early, unconscious egotism. While the plot continues and mysteries are unraveled, what Helen and Gilbert say - as well as what they don't say - provides another story to follow, which reinforces Anne Bronte's indictment of the sexual double standards of nineteenth-century Britain. Told with great immediacy, combined with wit and irony, "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" is a powerfully involving read. Of the three Bronte sisters, Emily and Charlotte are better known, yet it is Anne's work which carries some of the strongest feminist themes. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

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Amazon.com: HASH(0x91c98f0c) étoiles sur 5 184 commentaires
75 internautes sur 78 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9184b708) étoiles sur 5 An Exceptionally Powerful & Disturbing Novel! 13 mai 2005
Par Jana L.Perskie - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Young Helen Lawrence had just come out into society, and unfortunately two of her beaus, older men who, although settled, of good character and wealthy, didn't meet her romantic standards. I can't say that I blame the talented, attractive young woman. I was not particularly turned-on by either of the men, myself. Middle-aged, stodgy and tiresome, they were not the answer to an eighteen year-old's dreams - even a practical eighteen year-old. A third suitor, Arthur Huntington, handsome, charismatic, and known by some to be "destitute of principle and prone to vice," was obviously smitten by Helen, and she was drawn to him also. Her aunt emphasized that the young woman should, above all, look for character in a potential mate. She advised her niece to seek a man of principle, good sense, respectability and moderate wealth. She warned Helen away from Huntington, calling him a reprobate. Helen agreed that she should marry such a one whose character her aunt would approve of, but also argued that love should play a part in her selection. Meanwhile, Huntington, on his best behavior, continued to woo Helen until she finally accepted his proposal, on the condition of her relatives' approval. Helen knew that Arthur was somewhat deficient in sense, scruples and conduct. However, she also truly believed that with her own strong religious convictions and love, she could and would change him for the good. In spite of numerous examples of her beloved's past lechery and excesses, Helen insisted on the match. And so they married.

Within a few months Helen became much more familiar with her husband's character. He had no hobbies nor interests, as she did. She is a gifted painter, loves to read, enjoys the outdoors, and is not easily bored. Arthur demanded all Helen's time and attention, to entertain and pamper him. When he could no longer bear the country solitude, he left for London, to reacquaint himself with his old haunts and bachelor friends. He insisted his wife remain behind, at their estate, Grassdale Manor. Huntington's behavior worsened with time, even after Helen bore him a beautiful son. He brought his debauched friends into his home for months on end, hosting wild drinking orgies and participating in a variety of low behavior extremely insulting to his wife, indeed, even encouraging his friends to mock his spouse. Helen eventually discovered that one of the houseguests, the wife of a friend, was Arthur's longtime mistress. Thus a double adultery was being conducted at Grassdale Manor, while she and her son were in residence, along with excesses of every kind.

It was at this point that Helen, contrary to the customs of her times, locked her bedroom door against her husband. This seems like logical behavior in the 21st century. And many might ask why she did not leave Huntington long before. In the Victorian Age, the law and society defined a married woman as a husband's property. Women were totally dependant upon their mates, and husbands could actually have their wives locked away in asylums at their whim and convenience. There is a scene in the novel where Arthur has all Helen's paints and canvasses destroyed, and takes possession of her jewelry and money, so she cannot leave him. When the profligate begins to manipulate his young son, encouraging the child to drink and curse his mother, Helen does run away with her child.

As the novel opens, we find her living in a few rooms at the remote Wildfell Hall, under the assumed identity of Helen Graham, a widow. Here she earns her living by painting. The neighbors are curious and seek her out, one in particular, Gilbert Markham. However when Helen is not forthcoming about her past, she becomes the object of ugly gossip and jealousy. Much of this compelling story is narrated through a series of letters Markham writes to a friend, and through Helen's own diary entries.

The novel is divided into three sections: Helen's life at Wildfell Hall and her friendship with Gilbert Markham; Helen's diary describing the Huntington marriage; and the events following Markham's reading the diary. Anne Bronte's novel is powerful, haunting and quite disturbing. Miss Bronte, and her brother Branwell, served as governess and tutor to the children of wealthy aristocrats. Some of the behavior described here is apparently taken from events which Anne witnessed, and which marked Branwell severely. Ms. Bronte openly stated that in "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" she, "wished to tell the truth, for truth always conveys its own moral to those who are able to receive it." This well written, extraordinary tale can most definitely hold its own against the works of Anne's more famous sisters, Emily and Charlotte Bronte, and those of other noted authors of the period.
JANA
42 internautes sur 44 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x91815b88) étoiles sur 5 Historically significant as well as a good read! 11 septembre 2009
Par Tigger - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Although Anne Bronte seems to be the least-known of the Bronte trio and only published two novels, this book has a more fascinating history to me than its more famous 'cousins', Wuthering Heights (Emily) and Jane Eyre (Charlotte). Not only was Wildfell the one to blow the lid on the male "Bell" pseudonyms the sisters had been writing under, but it's considered to be one of the world's first feminist novels, before that term existed. It was so controversial at the time of publication it was banned in many areas of Europe.

Written as one long letter - and a diary within a letter, like Kostova's The Historian - from protagonist Gilbert Markham to his brother-in-law on how he met his wife, Helen, most of the actual story is presented in diary form by Helen herself. Initially presented to the reader as a mysterious widow who arrives in a small English village (where she first meets Gilbert), she becomes, very much against her will, a source first of endless curiosity, and then a target of malicious gossip.

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. If you think it's a tough mistake to make now, only imagine its consequences in an age where divorce was rarely an option and you were almost always stuck with what you got, no matter how repugnant, immoral or tyrannical. Everything is here: adultery, alcoholism, abuse, alienation and humiliation.

At the time, Bronte was apparently skewered by hypocritical moralistic critics who felt she shouldn't have exposed this underbelly of Victorian society's mores - or more precisely, its lack of compassion or even recognition of what women were expected to endure. Helen's character, a religiously devout woman but also a fighter who refused to accept the worst of the abuses or allow her son to be corrupted, was lambasted as an evil influence on women and girls. It's gratifying to know that as history's hindsight and passage tells us now, this novel ended up going a long way towards shaking up 19th century morals and and bringing about the first stirrings of women's rights.

Like most Victorian novels it runs long and the modern reader might feel that it drags when compared to the quicker pacing of contemporary fiction, but I really enjoyed it and felt transported to another time.
72 internautes sur 82 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x91815b58) étoiles sur 5 The Forgotten Sister 27 avril 2000
Par JLind555 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Anne is the Bronte we never read in school and most of us don't read afterwards, which is a big loss for those who don't, because she's at least as talented as her two older sisters. "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" can hold its own against "Jane Eyre" or "Wuthering Heights" any day in the week, but it was panned in its own time, in large part because of its "unladylike" topic of alcoholism.

Anne Bronte knew alcoholism first hand through her brother Bramwell who drank himself to death, and her revulsion of the alcoholic personality is central to this book. The heroine of "Tenant", Helen Graham, is a headstrong and independent young woman, who marries Arthur Huntington against the advice of her family. She is one of those who loves not wisely but too well, because Arthur, a selfish and irresponsible womanizer, cares about nothing but satisfying his own wishes and desires.

Helen wants to help Arthur turn his life around, which Arthur couldn't care less about, and his drinking and adultery right under her nose eventually repels her to the point where she despises him as much as she once loved him. It is only when she sees him attempting to influence her young son to become a chip off the old block, that she realizes her responsibility as a mother to save her son from his father trumps her duty as a wife to stand by her husband. With the help of her brother, Helen runs away with her son to the anonymity of life in a small village. Here she meets Gilbert Markham, who falls in love with her, but realizes that their relationship has no future as long as her husband is alive. Arthur's ultimate death from alcoholism not only frees Helen from an abusive and degrading marriage, it also leaves her free to find happiness with Gilbert.

Anne Bronte pulled no punches in writing this book and that is probably what so perturbed readers of her own era; too bad for them, because they were unable to appreciate this book for what it is, one of the unrecognized classics of English literature.

Judy Lind
36 internautes sur 40 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x92186888) étoiles sur 5 "Oh Helen, if I had listened to you, it never would have come to this!" 4 décembre 2009
Par StarSearcher - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
**** slight spoilers. nothing drastic *******
This story is about a young lady of a good family in England 1827. Her name is Helen and her buyer's remorse after marrying for love. She ends up marrying a swine in Arthur Huntington. You can see Arthur H's in any bar or pub. The scenes of his abuse are well done. There are times when his wife, the main protagonist, is being abused by one of his friends and he sits back in drunken reverie, laughing foolishly.

The novel itself is told in the epistolatory style, meaning it is told in a series of letters. The effect comes off well and it comes off as if you're reading the private lives of someone, getting their most intimate thoughts. If you like that style, I recommend the very different but very well done dangerous liasons.

In the story, Helen's suffering is well portrayed. The reader gets a good sense of how and why she does what she does. Time and time again, I'm amazed at how resourceful and knowing she is for a woman of her age (early 20's I believe). But as she said to her illicit would be lover later on, young in years but old in tears. I can feel the cruelty of the world around her. It is as if everyone is perfectly conscious of her sufferings but no one dare acts (although this changes later, as you'll find out).

The other protagonist, Gilbert Markham, is sort of a pompous fool. At one point he nearly kills Helen's brother. He's spellbound by love, yes, but I got the feeling that he just wasn't the kind and gentle type that you want Helen to end up marrying. Luckily most of the book revolves around Helen who is far more interesting because of how she handles her problems and her sheer resourcefulness.

The reason why I closed the book and felt that I profited from it is because the imagery of the scenery and Helen's steadfastness in the face of such hardship impressed me. There's a point in the book where her hopes are literally shattered and burned up and yet she still carries on. An ordinary woman, with few friends and little to look forward to carrying on with life despite such serious setbacks. Now that to me is heroism. I'll take that over Batman or any other comic book hero any day.
14 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9180a588) étoiles sur 5 The Scandal of Wildfell Hall 22 juillet 2010
Par Mary Ann Beattie - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Anne Bronte is often the forgotten sister among the Brontes. But she may be the most courageous in her writing. She weaves a tale of a woman who leaves her abusive husband, taking her child, and traveling to an unknown location to make her living by painting. This is unheard of in 19th century England. The wife, her children, and all her material goods belong to the husband who can do with them as he wishes. Anne Bronte is ahead of her time in saying that this is wrong and makes her heroine both courageous and compassionate. It is my favorite of the Bronte sisters' stories. If you haven't read it, I recommend it highly.
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