Concerned for her family’s financial welfare and eager to expand her own horizons, Agnes Grey takes up the position of governess, the only respectable employment for an unmarried woman in the nineteenth century. Unfortunately, Agnes cannot anticipate the hardship, humiliation, and loneliness that await her in the brutish Bloomfield and haughty Murray households. Drawn from Anne Brontë’s own experiences, Agnes Grey depicts the harsh conditions and class snobbery that governesses were often forced to endure. As Barbara A. Suess writes in her Introduction, “Brontë provides a portrait of the governess that is as sympathetic as her fictional indictment of the shallow, selfish moneyed class is biting.”
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About the Author
Anne Brontë (1820-1849) published Agnes Grey in 1847 and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall in 1848. Samantha Ellis is a playwright, a journalist, and the author of How to Be a Heroine: Or, What I've Learned from Reading too Much.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Agnes Grey is wonderful and touching account of a young governess. Agnes came from a middle-class background but after her father lost the family wealth on a failed deal, she decides to go to work. She is first challenged by the incorrigible young children of the Bloomfield household and later by haughty adolescents of the Murray family. Yet she finds solace in reading, taking private walks and talking with the interesting Mr. Weston, the local curate. Will anything come of that liaison? Read this youngest Bronte sister’s work and travel with her as she graciously shares her innermost thoughts.