parsonage produced some of the best-loved and most-enduring of all novels: Charlotte's Jane Eyre, Emily's Wuthering Heights, and Anne's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, a book that created a scandal when it was published in 1848 under the pseudonym Acton Bell.
Compelling in its imaginative power and bold naturalism, the novel opens in the autumn of 1827, when a mysterious woman who calls herself Helen Graham seeks refuge at the desolate moorland mansion of Wildfell Hall. Brontë's enigmatic heroine becomes the object of gossip and jealousy as neighbors learn she is escaping from an abusive marriage and living under an assumed name. A daring story that exposed the dark brutality of Victorian chauvinism, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall was nevertheless attacked by some critics as a celebration of the same excesses it criticized.
"Every reader who has felt the power of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights comes, sooner or later, to The Tenant of Wildfell Hall," observed Brontë scholar Margaret Lane. "Anne Brontë, with all the Brontë taste for violence and drama, and with her experience of the same rude scenes and savage Yorkshire tales that had fed the imaginations of her sisters, did not shrink. She used the material at hand, and shaped it with singular honesty and seri-
ousness....Anne is a true Brontë."
This edition of The Tenant of Wildfell
Hall is the companion volume to the Mobil Masterpiece Theatre WGBH television presentation broadcast on PBS.
The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. The series was founded in 1917 by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foun-dation for their next publishing venture, Random House. The Modern Library has been a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with affordable hard-bound editions of important works of liter-ature and thought. For the Modern Library's seventy-fifth anniversary, Random House redesigned the series, restoring as its emblem the running torchbearer created by Lucian Bernhard in 1925 and refurbishing jackets, bindings, and type, as well as inau-gurating a new program of selecting titles. The Modern Library continues to provide the world's best books, at the best prices.
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The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is a dramatic serial on Mobil Masterpiece Theatre, a public television series presented by WGBH-TV, Boston, made possible by a grant from the Mobil Corporation.
"The Tenant of Wildfell Hall was conceived in the same atmosphere as Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. Wildfell Hall has power and imagination, and is so close to one of the tragedies in the sisters' own lives, that no perceptive reader can be indifferent to it."
"I wished to tell the truth, for truth always conveys its own moral to those who are able to receive it."
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