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The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

By: Anne Brontë
Narrated by: Alex Jennings, Jenny Agutter
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Summary

Exclusively from Audible

The story of a woman's struggle for independence from an abusive husband. Helen 'Graham' has returned to Wildfell Hall in flight from a disastrous marriage and to protect her young son from the influence of his father.

Exiled to the desolate moorland mansion, she adopts an assumed name and earns her living as a painter. Gilbert Markham, a local man intrigued by the beautiful young 'widow' offers his friendship but becomes distrustful when her reclusive behaviour sparks rumours and speculation. When she offers her diary for him to read only then does he discover the dark truth of her shocking past.

The second and last novel written by Anne Brontë, the youngest of the six Brontë children, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall deals with alcoholism, physical and emotional abuse, unhappy marriages and adultery. Anne's novels are distinctly different from that of her sisters, filled with gritty realism. After her death, Anne's sister, Charlotte, prevented its republication perhaps due to her belief that it was overly graphic and an 'entire mistake'.

Despite first being published in 1848, The Independent described it as a 'frighteningly up-to-date tale of single motherhood and wife-battering.' It is considered one of the more shocking of the Brontë stories and due to Helen's breaking of social convention and law holds firm as one of the first feminist novels.

Narrator Biography

Three-time Olivier Award winner actor Alex Jennings is known for portraying Prince Charles in The Queen (2006) as well as appearing in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004), Babel (2006) and The Lady in the Van (2015). His television work has included Cranford (2007), Silk (2011-2014), and Victoria (2016). He has narrated many audiobooks including Charlie Connelly's Attention All Shipping, which in 2008 was chosen as one of the top 40 audiobooks of all time.

Jenny Agutter began her acting career as a child in 1964's East of Sudan and is well known for appearing in three adaptations of The Railway Children. She starred in the critically acclaimed 1971 film Walkabout as well as receiving a string of Hollywood roles. She won an Emmy for her role in The Snow Goose (1971), as well as a BAFTA for her role in Equus (1997). More recently she has appeared in several television dramas, including Spooks (2002-2003), and Call the Midwife since 2012. She has performed in numerous theatre productions, including roles with the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company. She has also narrated audiobooks Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle and Jane Austen's Emma and featured in the Doctor Who audio dramas The Bride of Peladon and The Minister of Chance. In 2012 she was appointed OBE for her charity work.

Public Domain (P)2014 Audible, Inc

What listeners say about The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Plenty of drama!

An old favourite, beautifully rendered. Thank you so much, I really enjoyed listening. I am sure you will too.

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9 people found this helpful

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thank you Alex Jennings and Jenny Agutter

It goes without saying that this is an extraordinarily enthralling story. So it needs a performance to match, delivered here by the wonderful Jenny Agutter, and the always excellent Alex Jennings. Hours and hours and listening bliss.

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Jennings is a beast

book was long, but Jennings performance was epic! 400 pages Jesus it was long but ay o

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  • Overall
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Alex Jennings is captivating

A great book, well read, although I struggled with Jenny Agutter as her section is a bit monotone.

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  • Overall
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Alex Jennings superlative

Thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful love story. Alex Jennings is superb. An absolute master of the difficult discipline of bringing the page alive and making you hang on his every word. Jenny Agutter is adequate - sounds a bit under-prepared, but it's a hugely demanding task, and she handles the rich and thrilling prose better than many might have managed.

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Loved it

I have never really read any of the Bronte books & am now discovering them on audiobook. I loved The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. The narration was perfect for me.

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  • Overall
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Anne! who knew?!

Having never discovered Anne Brontë I confess to feeling hard done by. This beautiful story about how back in the day, women could be procured as belongings and put up and shut up no matter what your wedded life brings,for me, brought the 1800s to life.
The one huge issue I had was Jenny Agutter. Her narrating was almost as though she couldn't really be arsed. No inflections, no personality. Wooden and reading by numbers. This great literature demands great narration. Jenny, maybe stick to Nunatus House.

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Very Brontë!

Found this hard to get into initially but once I did, I loved it. Great listen and we’ll narrated - I will miss listening to it.

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Absolutely superb

I had never been drawn to this book but I am so glad I chose it. Spellbinding to the end.

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beautiful story, beautifully performed

This is one of my favourite Bronte stories, which Jennings and Agutter do justice to.

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