Chapter 1:

We are introduced to the household of young farmer, Gilbert Markham, who lives with his mother, brother and sister, Rose. Rose and Fergus tease Gilbert about his relationship with a local girl, Eliza Milward, but his mother makes it clear she does not consider such a relationship acceptable. The family then begin to talk about the new tenant of the nearby Wildfell Hall, Mrs Graham, a mysterious and enigmatic widow who seems to want to live a secluded and private life in her new home. We also learn of Gilbert's first encounter with the beautiful widow, as he clumsily tries to catch her eye in church; and we are introduced to the other inhabitants of the local community (including the Wilsons, and the Reverend Milward and his daughters). This chapter is in the form of a letter - from Gilbert to Halford, an old friend of his.

Chapter 2: