The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall - Anne Brontë [These notes were made in 1984; I read this in the 1966 Folio Society edition:]. Since Anne is by far the least esteemed of the Brontës, I came to this with low expectations - rather too low. For she has the same vivid personal voice, and the same ability to handle inlaid narratives as both her sisters. On the whole, her conception of human character and human relations is somewhat more conventional, I think, but then again, she does not have that curiously violent overlay of Gothicism which pervades Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. The one really unconventional thing for the time, I suppose, was that her heroine, Helen Graham, leaves her husband, and that our primary narrator falls in love with her before that husband gets on with his convenient demise (due to wild habits). Indeed, from the Preface the Folio Society has included, it looks as if there was some critical controversy over the morals of the work - patently unobjectionable, by the way, and erring, if anything, slightly on the sentimental side by having Helen go back to nurse her wicked husband through his last illness. Nonetheless, I found it a good read - much better than I'd expected.