The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is the second and final novel by the English author Anne Brontë. It was first published in 1848 under the pseudonym Acton Bell. Probably the most shocking of the Brontës' novels, it had an instant and phenomenal success, but after Anne's death her sister Charlotte prevented its re-publication in England until 1854. The novel is framed as a series of letters from Gilbert Markham to his friend about the events connected with his meeting a mysterious young widow, calling herself Helen Graham, who arrives at Wildfell Hall, an Elizabethan mansion which has been empty for many years, with her young son and a servant. Most critics now consider The Tenant of Wildfell Hall to be one of the first feminist novels.
Anne Brontë was an English novelist and poet, and the youngest member of the Brontë literary family. She was the daughter of Patrick Brontë, a poor Irish clergyman in the Church of England. Anne lived most of her life with her family at the parish of Haworth on the Yorkshire moors. Otherwise she attended a boarding school in Mirfield between 1836 and 1837, and between 1839 and 1845 lived elsewhere working as a governess. In 1846 she published a book of poems with her sisters and later two novels, initially under the pen name Acton Bell. Her first novel, Agnes Grey, was published in 1847 with Wuthering Heights. Her second novel, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, was published in 1848.
Anne died at 29, probably of pulmonary tuberculosis. After Anne's death her sister Charlotte edited Agnes Grey to fix issues with its first edition, but prevented republication of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. This is one reason why Anne is not as well known as her sisters. Nonetheless both of Anne's novels are considered classics of English literature.
Seeing as this book is over 100 years old I think it is okay to openly discuss the novel as we read it.