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Agnes Grey (Oxford World's Classics)

2 Ratings: 1.5
A book by 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 … see full wiki

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Author: Anne Brontë
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
1 review about Agnes Grey (Oxford World's Classics)

The governess

  • Feb 1, 2009
Less dramatic than her own Tenant of Wildfell Hall, and less read than her more famous sisters' works, Agnes Grey is a straightforward, semi-fictional chronicle of the experiences of a governess in 19th century England. Agnes is the younger daughter of a mother whose wealthy family disowned her for loving marrying an impoverished clergyman. To help ameliorate her family's dire financial condition , Agnes chooses to seek a situation as companion and teacher to the children of wealthier people. Though she understands well how to raise responsible children, their selfish parents undermine her attempts by neglecting yet overindulging them. Treated as underling by her employers, ignored by their servants, and plague by her students, poor Agnes must struggle alone under impossible working conditions, determined to help her own family regardless of the cost to herself. Her story comes to a happy conclusion, but Bronte was not interested in writing about "felicitous" times. Her intention with this book, to reveal some of the injustices of the class system, is achieved by example rather than preaching. Reminiscent of some of Jane Austen's stories, particularly Persuasion, Agnes Grey is a gracefully narrated, unpretentious story told with impressive effect.

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