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Agnes Grey (1847)

by Anne Brontë

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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5,1731702,114 (3.58)3 / 554
Classic Literatur Fictio HTML:

Agnes Grey is the daughter of a minister who faces financial ruin. Agnes decides to take up one of the only professions available to Victorian gentlewomen and become a governess. Drawing on her own, similar experiences, Anne Brontë portrays the desperation of such a position. Agnes' livelihood depends on the whim of spoiled children, and she witnesses how wealth and status can degrade social values.<… (more)

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    Medellia: Both books have sweet, shy, thoroughly virtuous protagonists, if you're a fan of that sort of character. (I am, and loved both novels!)
  2. 120
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» See also 554 mentions

English (161)  Spanish (4)  French (2)  Danish (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (169)
Showing 1-5 of 161 (next | show all)
While it doesn't have the literary wildness, narrative uniqueness, or romantic passion of her sisters' first books, the loosely autobiographical first novel by the youngest Brontë sister, Anne, is zippy, enjoyable, and frequently very funny. As in Jane Eyre, we get an inside look at how horribly governesses are treated in Victorian England, even when they have hearts of gold like Agnes. I truly enjoyed the characterization of the teenage daughters at her second post (and the sweet comeuppance of the eldest daughter's marriage) and while the meet cute at the end of the book was so sweet it made my teeth hurt, it was well earned. If you are only going to read one Brontë novel, this is probably not the one I'd recommend, but I still enjoyed it! ( )
  kristykay22 | May 14, 2024 |
A decent read, but awfully predictable. The "romance" between Agnes and Mr. Weston wasn't exactly sizzling, but it was sweet. ( )
  AliceAnna | Mar 2, 2024 |
For those who find reality boring, don't read this book. But for those who find awe in every moment, Agnes Grey is a masterpiece. ( )
  Aidan767 | Feb 1, 2024 |
Agnes has big dreams and she wants to be a governess, able to shape young lives and make changes to her own family's financial situation. However, the career does not live up to her expectations and already she encounters difficult parents while tutoring their two children. The second family are easier but one of the children later has different views on marriage compared to Agnes, arguing their thoughts on the clergyman. Written under the pseudonym, Acton Bell, Anne Brontë demonstrates life and the difference in status in the 19th Century while providing readers insight from Agnes's perspective.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review. ( )
  Louisesk | Jan 26, 2024 |
Agnes Grey is the story of a young woman, the daughter of an ailing clergyman, who becomes a governess. She is first employed with terrible people, but is let go; afterwards she spends several years as the governess of two young women, much spoiled and greedy, but not bad girls for all that. In her second placement she meets a young curate, and falls in love with him.

I've read several Bronte novels, but never one by Anne Bronte. It was an audiobook, but still a lot to handle in the 21st century. The piety of the main character, and the pedantic nature of the novel had me groaning. I have nothing against piety, but it was overworked in Agnes' character. Also, although she is the star feature of the novel, she looks at all who live other than she does as inferior to herself, which I see as a distinct fault.

I listened to the book with interest, but it was difficult for me to truly like the story. It is the sort of "improving" novel that I think may have been designed for the teaching of youngsters, and which I think deliberaely resembles a religious tract. I am pleased to have read more work by the Bronte sisters, and to have added Anne to the sisters whose works I have rea ( )
  ahef1963 | Jan 10, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 161 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brontë, Anneprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Arx, Elisabeth vonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brockway, HarryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Desai, AnitaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Douglas, HazelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Flosnik, AnneNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fox, EmiliaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goreau, AngelineEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Inglesfield, RobertEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kaarma, JüriIllustreerija,secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kepler, RagneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kipp, SabineNachwortsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kuusik, TerjeToimetaja.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lange, AnneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lopez, Menchu GutierrezTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marsden, HildaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
May, NadiaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, AnthonyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Redgrave, RichardCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ruohtula, KaarinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schwarzbach, FredIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shuttleworth, SallyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, AnneIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Suess, Barbara A.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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All true histories contain instruction; though, in some, the treasure may be hard to find, and when found, so trivial in quantity that the dry, shrivelled kernel scarcely compensates for the trouble of cracking the nut.
It is foolish to wish for beauty. Sensible people never either desire it for themselves or care about it in others. If the mind be but well cultivated, and the heart well disposed, no one ever cares for the exterior.
Reading is my favourite occupation, when I have leisure for it and books to read.
I was sorry for her; I was amazed, disgusted at her heartless vanity; I wondered why so much beauty should be given to those who made so bad a use of it, and denied to some who would make it a benefit to both themselves and others. But, God knows best, I concluded. There are, I suppose, some men as vain, as selfish, and as heartless as she is, and, perhaps, such women may be useful to punish them
"What a fool you must be," said my head to my heart, or my sterner to my softer self.
'No, thank you, I don't mind the rain,' I said.I always lacked common sense when taken by surprise.
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Classic Literatur Fictio HTML:

Agnes Grey is the daughter of a minister who faces financial ruin. Agnes decides to take up one of the only professions available to Victorian gentlewomen and become a governess. Drawing on her own, similar experiences, Anne Brontë portrays the desperation of such a position. Agnes' livelihood depends on the whim of spoiled children, and she witnesses how wealth and status can degrade social values.

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Agnes Grey is forced by the poverty ensuing on her father's death to seek work as a governess, the only employment available to middle-class young women of the time. Her humiliating first position lasts only six months, but she is soon employed by the Murray family. Tormented by the coquettish Rosalie and the student tomboy Matilda, she finds her position increasingly lonely and difficult. Only Mr Weston, the poor, plain curate shows any kindness, and Rosalie seems bent on his conquest. Anne Bronte knew only too well what is was to be a governess - "your efforts baffled and set at nought by those beneath you, and unjustly censured by those above". With Agnes Grey she created an impassioned account of a role which stripped so many Victorian women of their dignity. And, reinforcing her insistence on a woman's right to personal freedom, vividly presents the natural landscape as a mirror to her heroine's inner life.
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