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The Bronte sisters' stories have a darkness about them. Not surprising perhaps during a period when death lurked in the fogs and chill of night taking persons away without notice. Life expectancy was thirty or forty The greatest killer of women was childbirth. This darkness runs throughout works such as Wuthering Heights, Shirley, The Professor, Villette, Jane Eyre and of course Anne Brontes' Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.
Beautiful and brilliant ballrooms, great mansions, jewels, fine gowns, magnificent carriages, everything that wealth can provide is the background of this beautiful princess meets handsome prince, princess marries prince, princess then founds prince falls considerable short of her expectations, then prince dives headlong into the cesspools of London and the continent. Girl becomes a woman and takes command of her situation and with her young son runs hiding in the old dilapidated mansion, Wildfell Hall.
Frederick Davidson and Nadia May did a magnificent job. This is a hard book. One cannot love this book. It is the dark underbelly of upper class British society in the 17-1800's. So glittering and splendid, so debauched beneath the surface. Except for the leading lady and man, I hate, despise, detest most of the characters in this book. Yet, I have gone though the book again and again. When the horrors of what Nadia May reads overwhelms, the calm, aristocratic, matter-of-fact voice of Frederick Davidson soothes and bring one back to peace and tranquility
Fortunately Bronte stories end much better and much happier than the above description would lead one to expect. Well, this one ends well for the woman and her child. As for the husband, not so well but frankly good riddance.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful
I really enjoyed this rendition of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Using a male and a female reader for the different voices really worked well. Each of the actors who read were very skilled at becoming the different characters. I highly recommend this version.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful