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Agnes Grey

Agnes Grey

3.8 138
by Anne Bronte

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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.


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.”

Author Biography:

Editorial Reviews

"For too long [Anne] has been undervalued as the third-best Bronte. But her fiction, exploring the lamentably still current themes of addiction and domestic violence and the abuse of vulnerable women working away from home, has a vigour and bracing satirical intelligence which places her in the first rank of what is arguably the greatest ever generation of novelists in English"
From the Publisher

"Agnes Grey is the most perfect prose narrative of English letters . . . Simple and beautiful . . . The only story in English literature in which style, characters, and subject are in perfect keeping." —George Moore

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Meet the Author

Anne Brontëwas a British novelist and poet, the youngest member of the Brontë literary family. Anne's two novels, written in a sharp and ironic style, are completely different from the romanticism followed by her sisters, Emily Brontë and Charlotte Brontë.

She wrote in a realistic, rather than a romantic style. Mainly because the re-publication of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall was prevented by Charlotte Brontë after Anne's death, she is less known than her sisters. However, her novels, like those of her sisters, have become classics of English literature.

The daughter of a poor Irish clergyman in the Church of England, Anne Brontë lived most of her life with her family at the parish of Haworth on the Yorkshire moors.

In Elizabeth Gaskell's biography, Anne's father remembered her as precocious, reporting that once, when she was four years old, in reply to his question about what a child most wanted, she answered: "age and experience".

During her life Anne was particularly close to Emily. When Charlotte's friend Ellen Nussey visited Haworth in 1833, she reported that Emily and Anne were "like twins", "inseparable companions". Together they created imaginary world Gondal after they broke up from Charlotte and Branwell who created another imaginary world - Angria.

For a couple of years she went to a boarding school. At the age of 19 she left Haworth and worked as a governess between 1839 and 1845.

Later in her life, a dying Anne expressed her love and concern for her sister Charlotte, and seeing Charlotte's distress, whispered to her to "take courage". Conscious and calm, Anne died at about two o'clock in the afternoon, Monday, 28 May 1849.

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Agnes Grey (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 138 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Anne Bronte is a step ahead of her sisters, while I loved Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, The Professor and Villete (haven't read Shirley yet! :p) I have to confess I was happy to see a woman write in plain words, ezpressing ideas and feelings that were natural and realistic. Instead of being the too forebearing Jane who berated herself for 'daring' to love Rochester Agnes can look at her employers and see clearly that she is their superior... and tell the reader so without malice or vanity! The language at time may appear slightly immature, but it's wonderfully genuine! Agnes is constantly chiding herself about how she should have said more, or said less, or said something clever, or said nothing! It's great because we as women do that now... and will FOREVER!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To start with, I think I figured out a few patterns with the Bronte sister's work. I've currently read four books of theirs and I've noticed that the beginning chapters of: Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and now Agnes Grey require a lot patience from the reader. The books didn't exactly capture my attention at first. Like I said this has happened four times now, BUT once you get past the opening chapters and into the story, they do grab you and pull you into their worlds, but you have to be patient. I've read some reviews saying that the Bronte sisters were famous for their "wordy or flowery speech", I enjoy that kind of speech, but when you are really ready for something magical or interesting to happen or conclude, that's when the language gets dull and starts to ramble on and you just want to skim ahead. Honestly, I loved this book and don't get me wrong, I really enjoy the Bronte sisters but the stalling and rambling parts of their wonderful, original books should just be noted for any potential reader. Now saying that, I've also noticed that one of the sisters work will magically speak to you and touch you, whether it's Emily's "Wuthering Heights", Charlotte's "Jane Eyre" (these are the more well known books but there are so many more to explore). Wuthering Heights grabbed my attention and it's now one of my all time favorite reads, but I never really had a book of any genre speak to me more than "Agnes Grey". On the surface, it's a simple story of a young woman and her journey as a newly fledged governess, but it's so much more than this. The beauty and the magic of the words of Anne Bronte brought me to tears in a few parts of her tale. It's hard to explain, but if you have ever wanted to pursue a dream so badly and then had to learn some lessons a hard and cruel way out in the real world, then you can identify with this book. The way this author conveys and explains love, affection, and simple attraction is truly moving. This book by no means has the action or gothic mystery like her sister Emily's "Wuthering Heights" but still "Agnes Grey" makes you search yourself and will have you thinking and questioning yourself days after you finish the last page. I really loved and enjoyed this book, however I can see where a lot of readers will not appreciate it's understated messages. You will either love this story or move on.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Bronte sisters novels are amazing! Jane Eyre is my personal fav, but Agnes Grey is also amazing!
FARIEQUEENE More than 1 year ago
I enjoy this because through fiction, one can often catch a glimpse of what life was like during the mid-nineteenth century. Agnes struggles with education, class, and duty in this quaint novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first time I've read anything by Anne Bronte; but Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre are two of my favorite books. I did enjoy this book by the youngest Bronte. It is sensitive and easy to read. The main character is interesting; but some of the other characters are almost unbelievably nasty, mean or just hateful. I doubt it will go on my "Read Again List" with the two afore mentioned books by her sisters. However, it is a good read overall.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As is generally written, Anne Bronte's storyreflects the life of a governess during hertime and place. No doubt greater detail would give us even a clearer picture of suchsituations. There is enough descriptionhowever to let us know it was a position fewwould want. The story is not all that, andwe do read about other aspects of thosetimes, and it does end happily on a love notewhich makes it satisfactory to the romantic.Anne is an excellent writer and should indeedbe given more credit and recognition than weusually find. This affordable edition is truly one to own, for it includes end notes,a biographical commentary by CharlotteBronte, explanations of certain local orarchaic expressions, an introduction by theAssociate Dean of General Studies at NYU,Victorian era reviews and a further readinglist. I will comment that Anne Bronte herselfand her character Agnes Grey were devoutChristians interested in the Bible, andthroughout the story Biblical phrases andreferences are sprinkled which will turn off some people, and be welcomed by others. (This is mentioned for those wanting a few more details about the story.)
Guest More than 1 year ago
I must say I loved Jane Eyre more. Jane Eyre is exciting, passionate and superiorly original. However I enjoyed this one beacuse it plainly describes the life of a real life governess, not an extraordinary one. It really gave me the idea of how simple people lived in the victorian era. This book is short and easy to read, and while it may not contain the moral topics present in Jane Eyre, I enjoyed it anyway.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a person who has read Jane Eyre four times, I must say that this story is a lot less agonizing. It is still richly emotional. Agnes is an endearing character and the end couldn't be more perfect!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Agnes Grey is certainly not Ann Bronte's finest masterpiece, but it is definately an engrossing novel, simple, but certain. Agnes Grey stands for the young, poor woman looking for love and a life, a story almost similiar to Charlotte's novel Jane Eyre, but Agnes Grey has found a place in my heart that will never hold Jane Eyre. I truly loved this shadowed novel by the Bronte sister who stands in the background of her sisters, but who still stands firm
Guest More than 1 year ago
Agnes Grey is a wonderful portrayal of the life of a young girl striving to bring meaning and love to her life. Ms. Grey is a simple, overlooked girl full of knowledge and goodness. Surrounded by those with power and money, Agnes realizes that wealth does not bring happiness or refinement.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the introduction in this B&N classics series as it gives a concise background and necessary understanding prior reading "Agnes Grey." "Agnes Grey" itself is far from being a WOW book compared to those works written by her other sisters, but Anne Bronte's writing and the tone she chose for the book were just perfect for her creation of the heroin, Agnes Grey. I enjoy reading this book because Anne Bronte threw in many philosophies and life values that are so thought-provoking that I almost needed to sit back and do some reflections after each chapter. Such a rare and hidden gem.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can you go assassinate someone? Reply to 'LuckyLover6234'
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Ill miss you."(youre quiting rp?!)
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well, then. That wasn't supposed to happen...I fell asleep by accident. Lol
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She blinks. "Goodbye Duskstar. I hope all goes well in your new Life.."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Looks for someone to talk to
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Excellent. I'll stay in touch" Black mist begins to cover him, out of it flies a black raven, and with that he is gone
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