Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Vol. 1

We had our Twitter discussion of volume 1 of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall last night. We covered ground like

  • the preface (would it be seen as too confrontational in today’s writing environment?),
  • similarities to/deviations from Austen (e.g., Reverend Milward),
  • the framing device,
  • Gilbert (prig or flawed hero? why does he hit Lawrence? does that make G irredeemable?),
  • the meddling of the villagers,
  • Gilbert as a stand-in for Branwell Bronte,
  • the many negative male characters,
  • the female characters as different reactions to social limits,
  • Helen’s art as metaphor,
  • and various literary references in the text.

It was a fast-paced discussion and a lot of fun. But I know that not everyone is on Twitter, the time wasn’t convenient for everyone, and of course the 140-character limit can constrain discussion. So what thought do you have on volume 1? What are you looking forward to in volumes 2 and 3?

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Author: Emma

Emma is a novelist, full-time mama, recovering academic, and former political staffer. When she’s not reading or writing, she loves her twins' hugs, her husband’s cooking, her cat’s whiskers, her dog’s tail, and Earl Grey tea.

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