Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Agnes Grey - Anne Brontë

Novel by Anne Bronte, published in 1847. The strongly autobiographical narrative concerns the travails of Agnes Grey, a rector's daughter, in her service as governess, first to the unruly Bloomfield children and then with the callous Murrays. Agnes's sole consolations in this dreary life are the natural environment and her blossoming relationship with Weston, the local curate, whom she eventually marries.

Another book that I had not expected to enjoy as much as I did and that, together with Gaskell's Mary Barton is making me rethink the decision not to join the 18th and 19th Century Women Writers challenge in 2010.

Agnes Grey is a small and simple book. It's a story about a young woman's dreams and feelings. The beginning about when she is a young girl and then, after she grows up and her parent's suffer a financial set back, about the time she spends working as governess with two different families. The book is filled with messages of moral behaviour and honesty of character. Agnes faces some difficult and sometimes humiliating situations at the hands of the children she teaches and her parents but she tries to face her days with serenity and she still finds the time to help those less fortunate.

Although her life's conditions are miserable as she is isolated and makes very few friends, she eventually knows Mr. Weston, a curate, who she finds a worthy man and starts thinking of even if her pupils do their best to keep them apart. I suppose that I did like the book so much because I really liked Agnes Grey as a character. And this was an easy, not always happy but charming read.

Grade: 4.5/5


  1. I also didn't expect to like this book much but, maybe, I sympathized with Agnes a lot since I am a teacher, too. Fortunately, my students are not as terrible as Agnes's pupils! I liked Anne Bronte's "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" more, though.I've just finished reading "The Professor" by Charlotte Bronte and I thought it would be something like Agnes Grey but I was wrong. I'm rather disappointed. I'll review it as one of my All about the Brontes Challenge.

  2. I liked the book too and surprisingly so as this book wasn't very attractive in the initial few pages. But I persisted and realized Agnes's characters is one of the best written characters of Anne Bronte

  3. Maria Grazia, I haven't read those yet but I am considering joining that challenge so maybe I will :-)

    Shweta, these are the best surprises aren't they?

  4. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I've added Agnes Grey to my list for the 2010 18th & 19th Century Women Authors Challenge. I loved Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, enjoyed Wuthering Heights, so I'm hoping to at least like this one. ;)

  5. I read Agnes Grey two years ago, I remember enjoying it. I really like how Anne Bronte writes. This is the only work of hers I've read so far but I plan on reading more. In some respects I like it more than Jane Eyre.

  6. You know I've read Wuthering Heights (my all time favorite) and Jane Eyre (loved it!) and never went on to any other Bronte novels. Why?? I have no idea. You've reminded me that I need to, and soon!!

  7. This book has been on my TBR ever since I Jane Eyre. After reading your review, I know I need to make time for it.

  8. Leya and Cam I hope you like it too! And Cam your book went out today!

    Katherine I also plan to read more of Anne Brönte as I quite liked her writing.


I love to chat about books and stuff and I would love to hear from like minded readers. Please do leave me a comment :-)


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