Title: Agnes Grey
Author: Anne Brontë
Publish Date: 1847
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "Written when women—and workers generally—had few rights in England, Agnes Grey
exposes the brutal inequities of the rigid class system in
mid-nineteenth century Britain. Agnes comes from a respectable
middle-class family, but their financial reverses have forced her to
seek work as a governess. Pampered and protected at home, she is
unprepared for the harsh reality of a governess’s life. At the
Bloomfields and later the Murrays, she suffers under the snobbery and
sadism of the selfish, self-indulgent upper-class adults and the
shrieking insolence of their spoiled children. Worse, the unique social
and economic position of a governess—“beneath” her employers but “above”
their servants—condemns her to a life of loneliness."
My Two Cents:
been trying to get more classics into my reading diet. There are so
many good ones out there that I haven't read yet! I always find myself
sort of intimidated by classics. I'm worried that I'm not going to
understand them or that I'm not going to like them. I'm always excited
when I find a classic that I can really get into. "Agnes Grey" is
definitely one of those books! Anne Bronte is probably the least famous
writer if we're talking about her, Charlotte, and Emily. Since I've read
things by her sisters, I was excited to see how her writing was.
character of Agnes was drawn from Anne's own experiences of being a
governess. I always wonder how closely books that draw on an author's
experience actually mirror that author's experience. "Agnes Grey" is a
really interesting picture of women who lived during Anne Bronte's time
and it feels very realistic, sometimes to a fault. There are no
flourishes and not much intrigue, even when it comes to the love story
within the book. Agnes is a conventional woman who seems to be more of
an observer than a doer in this book.
We get to follow Agnes as
she sets out to be a governess in order to help make money for her
family. She starts out sort of naive but begins to flower as she has to
start making a life for herself in the real world. She really goes
through a change.
Overall, I liked this book. It really feels like a slice of life kind of book. It's a solid classic.