Thursday, November 21, 2013

101. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Anne Bronte
1848
Around 500 pages










Holy shit.  I suppose for a literary blog I should be able to express myself better but I seriously cannot believe that I have reached this milestone.  I hit the 100 mark and then some on my other blogs (I am currently at 406 with movies and 345 on albums) but, of course, it is a lot easier to watch a ninety minute movie or listen to a forty five minute album than to read a five hundred page novel.  So I just wanted to take a second to thank all my followers and the people that regularly come here and leave comments.  I said at the beginning that I was going to finish this journey and blog and 100 books later, I still mean it.  So let's get to the next 901 novels shall we?

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is one of the most shocking novels I have come across in this book and the strong feminist message is so incredibly ballsy for the time period (or I guess in this case it would be ovariesy?) that it definitely skyrocketed Anne to the top of my personal hero list (I am rooting for you, babe, in the poll!).

Helen Graham marries Arthur Huntingdon, a gambling alcoholic loser who, unfortunately, is quite handsome and charming.  She, of course, thinks she can change him and that ends up going as well as it does any time a woman tries to change a man.

Marital problems have been hinted at in earlier novels but it seemed like if that was the case back then, everyone would just kind of ignore it and the couple would simply not speak. But I don't think I have ever read a book from this era that depicts an abusive husband, let alone one that was written by a woman.

So this is a great novel, not just for its historical value but because it is damn entertaining.  Great way to kick off the next 100!

RATING: *****

Interesting Facts:

Charlotte Bronte wrote to the publisher, criticizing the novel and its subject.  Jealous, much?

Instant success and outsold Wuthering Heights by a huge margin.

After its initial success, the novel fell out of publication.  Charlotte prevented the republication after Anne's death.

UP NEXT: Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell.  We are really on an all female streak and I am loving it!

2 comments:

  1. Congratulations! I look forward to your posts and whenever there is a drought I think "She must be reading fervently!". I'm also doing this challenge, but not as systematically as you are. Thank you for this blog.

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    1. Wow, I can't tell you how good reading your comment made me feel! Thank you so much!

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