The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

  • Enid L. Duthie


It was probably soon after completing Agnes Grey in June 1846 that Anne Brontë began to write The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, published in June 1848. The title, as has often been remarked, resembles that of Emily’s Wuthering Heights, whose composition belongs to the preceding period, when the sisters had resumed their former habit of discussing their work together, and there is no doubt that Wuthering Heights played its part in the inception of Anne’s second novel. Sir Linton Andrews has indicated the obvious resemblances between the two works in setting, structure and some aspects of the subject matter. Of these resemblances the first to strike the reader is undoubtedly that of the initial setting — “lonely remote houses, with names that sound alike and have even the same initials; the arrival of a new tenant in the district …”.1 From this it would seem natural to deduce that the essential action of Anne’s novel, as of Emily’s, would take place in a wild and lonely region, even if she, too, introduced a more civilised milieu by way of contrast. Anne does indeed contrast the bleakness of Wildfell Hall, on its steep hillside, with the amenities of the farm of Linden-Car in the valley below.


Lost Paradise Moral World Happy Marriage Steep Hillside Turtle Dove 
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  1. 6.
    See Terry Eagleton, Myths of Power (London, 1975) p. 131.Google Scholar

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© Enid L. Duthie 1986

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  • Enid L. Duthie

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