I received 3 Bronte DVD’s for Christmas. All were BBC adaptations – Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and ‘The Tenant of Wildfell Hall’. Of course, I have seen these before when they were shown – or so I’d thought. ‘The Tenant of Wildfell Hall’ starring Tara Fitzgerald, Toby Stephens and Rupert Graves is a highly enjoyable tale of intrigue, cruelty and adventure (it goes without saying that there’s a love interest..). I must confess to never having actually finished reading ‘The Tenant of Wildfell Hall’ by Anne Bronte. Every time I have started this book something has happened, in fact the only version I have of it is in that really tiny print that makes my head spin and my eyes cross! I shall really have to rectify this (Dr my eyes) and get a better version. In fact I have just decided that I will re read it and although I didn’t managed to finish it – I shall substitute it for ‘The Magus’ by John Fowles for my Flashback Challenge. I wonder if this is allowed? Well it is now lol!
Back to the story. What a remarkable writer Anne Bronte was – quite underrated really. The tale relates how a cruelly treated wife with an independent spirit is treated by society. Her loyalty to her dastardly husband is admirable – and he just doesn’t deserve it. But Helen Graham (Tara Fitzgerald) is no doormat. Everything she does, she does in her child’s interest. It is the son that her husband (Rupert Graves) is interested in – what can she do, but follow him try to protect the little boy and prevent him from being corrupted by his cruel father.
Helen Graham is a great heroine and played very well by Fitzgerald. To actually leave her husband and live independently by painting landscapes in Victorian England shows great courage. It is so sad to see her love for her husband dwindle away into pity and duty as he is dieing. The contrast between the early love (before the scales have dropped from her eyes) and her sense of duty is quite affecting. She does get her reward though. He comes in the guise of a handsome young farmer Gilbert Markham (Toby Stephens) whose tenacity finally pays off.
This is no straight forward tale though. The tale is told in three parts; the first being Markham’s perspective, next from Helen’s diary (read by Markham) and the last part tells about Helen’s forced return to her husband and what happens when she does.
Anne is buried at Scarborough, her favorite place. I have a picture of her grave somewhere