Boy, those Bronte sisters could write. I’m reading The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall for the second time, having read it once many years ago.
This novel is about the unhappy marriage between an idealistic young woman and her charming-at-first but utter-asshole-at-last husband. It’s a bit over the top in its religious discussions and pours on the agony and martyrdom of the heroine, but still.
Now, Anne Bronte was an unmarried young woman who had lived somewhat in isolation in Yorkshire under her parson father’s supervision (like the other Bronte girls), and who had a brief stint as a governess. She wrote two novels and then died young of tuberculosis. So how in hell was she so very knowledgeable about the precise personality of a manipulative, narcissistic alcoholic? It’s a perfect portrait of an abusive asshole, very modern in its wisdom.
Color me gobsmacked at how worldly and intelligent this retiring unmarried girl was, especially about toxic human relationships. It’s a wonderful novel, not quite a masterpiece as some other Bronte works, but amazing anyway.