HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved,
essential classics. ‘I see that a man cannot give himself up to
drinking without being miserable one-half his days and mad the
other.’ When Helen flees from her alcoholic husband in order to
protect her son she defies societal convention. Earning a living as
an artist, she becomes the mysterious tenant of Wildfell Hall as
she hides herself away and uses her art to support her child.
However, the beautiful and reclusive young woman soon begins to
stir up malicious gossip and speculation. Captivated and drawn to
Helen, Gilbert Markham becomes suspicious when he begins to hear
these stories, however it is only when he reads Helen’s diary that
he learns the full cruelty that her husband subjected her to in her
previous life. Rejecting the societal norms surrounding marriage in
Victorian Society, Anne Brontë’s novel, said to be based on the
experiences of her own brother Branwell, shocked her readers at the
time and still remains a scandalous read today.