The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is the second and final novel by English author Anne Brontë, published in 1848 under the pseudonym Acton Bell. It is framed as a letter from Gilbert Markham to his friend and brother-in-law about the events leading to his meeting his wife.
The novel is divided into three volumes.
Part One (Chapters from 1 to 15): Gilbert Markham narrates about how a mysterious widow, Mrs. Helen Graham arrives at Wildfell Hall, a nearby old mansion. A source of curiosity for the small community, the reticent Helen and her young son Arthur are slowly drawn into the social circles of the village. Initially, Gilbert Markham casually courts Eliza Millward, despite his mother's belief that he can do better. His interest in Eliza wanes as he comes to know Mrs. Graham. In retribution, Eliza spreads (and perhaps originates) scandalous rumours about Helen.
With gossip flying, Gilbert is led to believe that his friend, Mr. Lawrence is courting Mrs. Graham. At a chance meeting in a road, a jealous Gilbert strikes (with a whip) the mounted Lawrence, who falls from his horse. Unaware of this, Helen refuses to marry Gilbert, but gives him her diaries when he accuses her of loving...