Most of you will remember that I read Anne Bronte for the first time last year. When I did my read-a-thon in September The Tenant of Wildfell Hall was the first book I read and ended up being my favorite one I read that week.
"Gilbert Markham is deeply intrigued by Helen Graham, a beautiful and secretive young widow 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 her past."
I enjoyed this book so much. I felt that there were so many relatable things about Helen Graham and I feel like she is a really strong woman. She left behind a hard life in a time when that would not have been easy or normal. She cared so much for her son that she did everything for him. She was also really compassionate. I admire the way that Anne wrote Helen and I really liked her writing style.
I read somewhere that when Helen slams the door on her husband it was "the door slam heard around the world" and that a lot of people considered this book to be one of the first real feminist novels. I totally get that.
The Bronte's seemed to be notorious for writing things that weren't normal or accepted for women to write about in their time and I admire them so much for it.
I think this book would be enjoyed by anyone who is a fan of either of Anne's sisters and it is one I will definitely read it again.
The other novel that Anne wrote during her life was Agnes Grey.
When Anne was nineteen she worked as a governess for a few years.
Agnes Grey is based on her experiences during that time.
" Bronte depicts the precarious position of a governess and how that can affect a young woman. Agnes was the daughter of a minister whose family was in financial difficulty. She has only a few choices for employment. Agnes experiences the difficulty of reining in spoiled children and how wealth can corrupt morals."
This sounds like it may be very close to Anne's own life and I can't wait to read it for the first time. I plan on picking it up when we visit the Bronte Parsonage in Haworth in a few months. I will review it as soon as I read it!
*Have you read either book by Anne Bronte?