Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tuesday Intro: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall


You must go back with me to the autumn of 1827. 
My father, as you know, was a sort of gentleman farmer in —shire; and I,
by his express desire, succeeded him in the same quiet occupation, not
very willingly, for ambition urged me to higher aims, and self-conceit
assured me that, in disregarding its voice, I was burying my talent in
the earth, and hiding my light under a bushel.  My mother had done her
utmost to persuade me that I was capable of great achievements; but my
father, who thought ambition was the surest road to ruin, and change but
another word for destruction, would listen to no scheme for bettering
either my own condition, or that of my fellow mortals.  He assured me it
was all rubbish, and exhorted me, with his dying breath, to continue in
the good old way, to follow his steps, and those of his father before
him, and let my highest ambition be to walk honestly through the world,
looking neither to the right hand nor to the left, and to transmit the
paternal acres to my children in, at least, as flourishing a condition as
he left them to me.

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
by Anne Brontë

 I am reading Anne Brontë at last. Although the least known of the famous sisters, her novel is totally engaging. I found an audio version for just $1.95 at audible, and am now listening in the car, too. The production is not the greatest, but price was right.

What do you think of the opening passage? It may not be enough to entice most readers, but give it some time. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall  has turned into a wild and wonderful ride.



Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening paragraph(s). Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

21 comments:

  1. I am pleasantly surprised by this excerpt...not that I should be. A Bronte, little known or not, is a very literary talent.

    Thanks for sharing...and here's MY TUESDAY MEMES POST

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - You've got that right ;-)

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  2. Hmm I might just give her a try. I like the intro so far but it bothers me when these Victorian authors blank-out any identifying place names or dates.

    Here's my Tuesday Intro: http://desktopretreat.blogspot.ca/2012/11/book-intro-tuesday.html

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    1. Trish - That 'blanking-out' has long been a pet peeve of mine, too. Why do they all do that? Either way, this is a very good book s far.

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  3. I'll be interested to hear how you end up liking the book overall. There are some out there who think this is the best of the Bronte novels, and some, like me, who feel it gets repetitive. I agree, though, that the power and elegance of Anne's writing makes it worth reading, and it is surprising, given that Anne is portrayed as the quiet, compromising one of the sisters.

    Have you ever looked to LibriVox for classic recordings. It's hit or miss, but there are some really great readers there, and the audio versions are free.

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    1. JaneGS- I'm nearing the half-way mark and it doesn't seem repetitive so far. We'll see how the second half goes. I'll probably need to read a Bronte bio sometime in 2013, too!

      I've not looked into LibriVox yet. Most of the comments I've heard have the called quality of narration/recording into question, but I'd welcome suggestions of their better productions!

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  4. I like your fitting description of The Tenant of Wildefell Hall as being wild and wonderful.

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    1. Lindy Lou Mac in Italy - I think it was James (Ready When You Are, C.B.) that described it that way to me. It seemed perfect!

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  5. I actually rather like that intro -- but love that kind of literature -- dramatic, old-fashioned...

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    1. Audra - Something about those Victorians, huh? I was drawn in right away, but figure the 'average' reader may not enjoy that style quite so much.

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  6. I love the Bronte sisters and I remember planning to read this book a long time ago but never got around to it. Thanks for the reminder with this teaser and your post

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    1. Lady in Read - Hope you get to enjoy it soon. The Bronte sisters will definitely appear on my 2013 reading list, too.

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  7. I bought a copy of this earlier in the year, because I've also been meaning to read it for years.

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    1. Lisa May - Put this on your 'Must Read in 2013' list. I'm sure you'd enjoy it!

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  8. I have never read this one, but I would definitely keep reading. Great pick.Thanks so much for joining in, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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    1. Diane - Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, too! Thanks so much for hosting Tuesday Intro.

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  9. I would love to read this based on the opening paragraph. I read one of the books by Anne Bronte a long time ago, Agnes Grey? I think that was the name. And I really enjoyed it. I just bought the updated biography of the Bronte family and am excited to start that. There's something about this time of the year that makes me want to read a Victorian novel.

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    1. Sunday Taylor - Yes, Agnes Grey is also written by Anne Bronte. Only halfway through The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, but I've added it to my list already. Will definitely need to seek out a Bronte biography in 2013!

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  10. I read this years ago, but would really like to listen as well.

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  11. Well, her reputation alone should entice us to read it. Hope you enjoy it. Here's Mine

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  12. I just recently purchased this title and very excited to start reading it. That opening passage is certainly enticing to me! Happy to know that you're loving it so far.. it makes me hopeful. :)

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. These conversations are my favorite part of blogging. Please check back, I almost always respond to comments!

I understand commenting has been a challenge lately, so will now allow anonymous comments. However, I will moderate comments on older posts. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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