Monday, October 28, 2019

The tenant of Wildfell Hall

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is a remarkable piece of English literature, more by its subject than by its tone. 
It centers around a young woman whose sudden appearance in a small town community is a mystery which nonetheless incites gossip and evil talk. 
The story itself is narrated from the perspective of a young bachelor, Gilbert Markham, who is, though not immediately, besotted by this mysterious woman, named Helen Graham. 
There's a part of the novel where Helen takes centers stage in guiding the story along and explaining the mystery why she's so suddenly taken residence in a dilapidated old mansion. 

The novel starts of with us, as readers, as much in the dark as Gilbert and his family and friends, but when a certain number of events, some violent, take place Helen gives Gilbert her diary so he can read the truth of her being there. 
It's quite a tale she has to tell. The story of a woman leaving her husband after he continually degrades her, in an attempt to save their son from his vile influence might not be quite a particular story in this day and age, but to write about it mid 19th century is very bold. 
That the story has a happy ending to spare, is even more bold. 

I enjoyed reading this novel. It never got boring and in the end I actually stayed up too late just because I wanted to know how it would end. It's written very straightforward, without too many embellishments which harmed the story (very different from her sister Charlotte) and I enjoyed it tremendously because of it.