He accompanies her and young Arthur on long walks to find scenes for Mrs. Graham to paint. His friends attempt to discourage his attentions to the tenant of Wildfell Hall.
Author: Anne Anne Brontë
Gilbert Markham, a young gentleman farmer, is immediately interested when a strange tenant comes to Wildfell Hall. Mrs. Graham, as her neighbors know her, is young and beautiful, and her demand for seclusion arouses great curiosity among the local gentry. She is particularly criticized for the way in which she cares for her small son, Arthur, whom she will not allow out of her sight. Gilbert's mother declares the child will become the worst of milksops. On his first visit to Wildfell Hall, Gilbert learns that Mrs. Graham is a landscape painter of considerable ability and that she is concealing her whereabouts from her former friends. Her air of secrecy arouses both his curiosity and sympathy. Avoiding the attentions of Eliza Millward, the vicar's daughter, for whom he until then showed a preference, Gilbert spends much of his time in the company of the young widow. He accompanies her and young Arthur on long walks to find scenes for Mrs. Graham to paint. His friends attempt to discourage his attentions to the tenant of Wildfell Hall. There is a rumor that she is having an affair with Frederick Lawrence, her landlord, and Lawrence himself assures Gilbert that he will fail in his attentions to Mrs. Graham. When he tries to tell her of his growing affection, Mrs. Graham insists that Gilbert regard her simply as a friend.