The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë

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Where and when is Anne Bronte's novel, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, set, and how do time and setting affect the story?

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Setting is comprised of time and location, so your question is really about setting. The setting of Anne Brontë's novel has some interesting aspects. The first is that the location of the action is never clearly stated. We know it is set in the countryside in England as locations are identified as "-shire," with "-shire" being a very English location suffix:

'But why have you called it Fernley Manor, Cumberland, instead of Wildfell Hall, ___shire?’

Anne Brontë, like her sister Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre), uses aspects of location, like weather and terrain, as symbolic of character interactions in the plot. This is a little different from how others may use these aspects as most often these are used to set the general mood of the story and as a technique of foreshadowing.

Yet, in this story, as in other Brontë stories, the beginning setting aspects may bear little or no relation to the...

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