Moira Russell's Reviews > Agnes Grey

Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë
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Quite surprisingly good for a first novel (certainly better than sister Charlotte's awful 'The Professor'), and quite possibly where Charlotte got the idea for a 'poor and plain' governess heroine in the first place. A remarkably neglected book. Anne deserves her place in the canon through merit, not necrophilic nepotism.
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Quotes Moira Liked

Anne Brontë
“It is foolish to wish for beauty. Sensible people never either desire it for themselves or care about it in others. If the mind be but well cultivated, and the heart well disposed, no one ever cares for the exterior.”
Anne Brontë, Agnes Grey

Anne Brontë
“I was sorry for her; I was amazed, disgusted at her heartless vanity; I wondered why so much beauty should be given to those who made so bad a use of it, and denied to some who would make it a benefit to both themselves and others.

But, God knows best, I concluded. There are, I suppose, some men as vain, as selfish, and as heartless as she is, and, perhaps, such women may be useful to punish them.”
Anne Brontë, Agnes Grey

Anne Brontë
“All true histories contain instruction; though, in some, the treasure may be hard to find, and when found, so trivial in quantity, that the dry, shriveled kernel scarcely compensates for the trouble of cracking the nut.”
Anne Brontë, Agnes Grey

Anne Brontë
“All true histories contain instruction; though, in some, the treasure may be hard to find, and when found, so trivial in quantity, that the dry, shrivelled kernel scarcely compensates for the trouble of cracking the nut. Whether this be the case with my history or not, I am hardly competent to judge. I sometimes think it might prove useful to some, and entertaining to others; but the world may judge for itself. Shielded by my own obscurity, and by the lapse of years, and a few fictitious names, I do not fear to venture; and will candidly lay before the public what I would not disclose to the most intimate friend.”
Anne Brontë, Agnes Grey

Anne Brontë
“I still preserve those relics of past sufferings and experience, like pillars of witness set up in travelling through the valve of life, to mark particular occurrences. The footsteps are obliterated now; the face of the country may be changed; but the pillar is still there, to remind me how all things were when it was reared.”
Anne Brontë, Agnes Grey

Anne Brontë
“Well! what is there remarkable in all this? Why have I recorded it? Because, reader, it was important enough to give me a cheerful evening, a night of pleasing dreams, and a morning of felicitous hopes. Shallow-brained cheerfulness, foolish dreams, unfounded hopes, you would say; and I will not venture to deny it: suspicions to that effect arose too frequently in my own mind. But our wishes are like tinder: the flint and steel of circumstances are continually striking out sparks, which vanish immediately, unless they chance to fall upon the tinder of our wishes; then, they instantly ignite, and the flame of hope is kindled in a moment.”
Anne Brontë, Agnes Grey

Anne Brontë
“The end of Religion is not to teach us how to die, but how to live....”
Anne Brontë, Agnes Grey


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