Every once in awhile magic seems to happen and I come across a classic that I have not been exposed to and have not read in the past. Anne Bronte’s “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall” became one of those this week. How had I missed it? Despite a busy week of moving furniture around and work I have been engrossed. What an honest and shockingly ahead of it’s time work. The Bronte sisters produced some of the most loved and respected literary works of all time. However Anne Bronte’s “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall” often does not receive the attention that it so rightly deserves. Alcoholism, domestic violence and the right of a woman to choose her fate are not often topics of the plot of a Victorian era literary classic.
Shocking at it’s time of publication in 1848 the work provides readers with a look inside a little seen side of Victorian era marriage and family life. Helen Graham becomes a timeless heroine that the modern woman can still relate to and admire. Ahead of it’s time and yet perfectly written for its period this work is one that is both classic and revolutionary. While showing the dark side of love and marriage, Bronte still seems to put forth the idea that when entered into by true admiration for another’s character the union can be blissful. A must read for any lover of classical literature.