Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte


Reading is my favourite occupation, when I have leisure for it and books to read.

This was my first Bronte novel and I love it!

Agnes Grey is the daughter of a clergy man whose family finds itself in straightened circumstances. Agnes makes the decision to help with her family’s financial situation and takes a post of a governess. This novel is an account of her time as a governess to two families.

The first few chapters are quite condensed. But once through them the story really starts to take shape.

The character of Agnes is very much a strong minded young woman who has a sense of independence about her.

When it comes to the novel itself the use of language and description is highly developed and very effective. It is skillfully written and shows early consciousness especially when it came to animal rights.

For me, part of what makes this novel interesting is knowing that in depicting Agnes’ life as a governess, Bronte drew heavily on her own experiences in the same role. When reading about the experiences of a Victorian Governess it was historically fascinating to see the examining of the role during the 19th century.

This novel shows the different aspects of the social class and also how very different these classes were. Such as the limited available roles for women in the British society during this time period.

When reading this novel there can be no doubt on how Anne Bronte felt about her experiences as a governess. Anne’s feeling about these experiences play a major role within this novel which makes it more autobiographical. This element is key when it comes to depicting the differences between the Bronte sisters novel writing. For example, Charlotte and Emily started in the realm of Gothic Romance however Anne gave us Realism.

Another important aspect of this novel is that it touches on many important issues that in many cases today are still being dealt with.

Even though this novel is not very plot heavy it is such a quaint and lovely story and is thoroughly worth reading as it is a worthy classic.

A love story does occur within this novel and it definitely left me wanting to know more than was told. However, one thing that needs to be made clear is that this story definitely was not written to be a romance novel.

Overall, this novel is a quaint Victorian story that has subtle touches of characterisation and has good lessons to be learnt within it.

The final thing I want to say is that Anne is clearly underrated!

Read Originally ~ 7-9th October,2015


The edition that I read was an Oxford World Classics.

(Image from Google Images)


4 responses to “Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte

  1. I think my favorite novel by the Brontes HAS to be Jane Eyre, but my favorite Bronte is Anne. I’ve read both her novels. She was steel. x


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