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Agnes Gray

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  38,540 Ratings  ·  2,002 Reviews
AS WE drove along, my spirits revived again, and I turned, with pleasure, to the contemplation of the new life upon which I was entering; but, though it was not far past the middle of September, the heavy clouds, and strong north-easterly wind combined to render the day extremely cold and dreary, and the journey seemed a very long one, for, as Smith observed, the roads wer ...more
Paperback, 172 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by Kessinger Publishing (first published 1847)
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Lapsus Linguae Good, indeed. Very well-written, although not much exciting. I recommend The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (Anne's best known work) as the first Anne…moreGood, indeed. Very well-written, although not much exciting. I recommend The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (Anne's best known work) as the first Anne Bronte's novel to be read.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Tatiana
Nov 18, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, 1001, 2010
Out of all Bronte books Agnes Grey is definitely the one that reads as if written by a pastor's daughter. There is just a very familiar quality to it, a mix of self-righteousness, martyrdom and judgment, characteristic of "Christian" romances (yes, I have read a couple back in the day).

Not even once during the course of the novel does Agnes make a mistake and therefore she doesn't evolve, change. She is just the most perfectest creature ever who is mistreated by everyone around her. The beginni
...more
Henry Avila
Jul 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In 1847, Charlotte Bronte's novel, Jane Eyre, was published, her sister Emily's, book also , Wuthering Heights and finally the 3rd sister, Anne's, Agnes Grey . The first two became classics, the other one, until recently, almost forgotten. An autobiographical novel with a simple plot. Poor clergyman's daughter, becomes a governess, to rich snobs, in order not to be a burden to her family. The father, Richard, lost his money in a bad investment, his ship didn't come in, it sank, worse yet, he owe ...more
Duane
It pains me to only give this three stars, mainly because of the tremendous respect I have for what the three Bronte sisters accomplished in their short lives, and because Anne was overshadowed by her older sisters, Charlotte and Emily. Agnes Grey, the first of Anne's two novels (1847), was overshadowed by Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, also published in 1847. But Agnes Grey did two things: one, it gave us insight into Anne's life, her feelings, because it was partly autobiographical, reflecti ...more
Kalliope



Having watched recently the film To Walk Invisible, and having also finished not long ago Wuthering Heights, while I was reading this I could not but imagine the two sisters, Emily and Anne, sitting around the same table, either in the dining room or in the kitchen, each leaning over a very small notebook and writing away their novels in silence. Both sharing and not sharing; keeping each other’s company, but also guarding the privacy of their thoughts and their writing from the other sister.

And
...more
Sherwood Smith
My favorite of the Brontes is Anne. This is my favorite of her novels.

In this and Jane Eyre, we have governess-eye views of the gentry. In Jane Eyre, Jane manages to make herself central (her suffering in being a governess); in Agnes Grey, there is a meticulous look at the thin veneer of civilization over the soi-disant gentry who have all the money and manner but utterly no moral center. The examination of this family is one of the most effective pieces of quiet horror in literature, I think, b
...more
Paul
Nov 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars
I’ve been conscious for a while of not having read anything by Anne Bronte and decided it was time to remedy that. This is Anne Bronte’s first novel and has the reputation of being not as good as the second; however I certainly felt that it had its strengths. The story is straightforward; Agnes Grey is the daughter of a clergyman whose family finds itself is straightened circumstances. Agnes decides she must contribute to the family finances and takes a post of a governess. There is an
...more
Fernando
Oct 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Las hermanas Brontë no se caracterizaban por escribir empalagosas historias de amor ni por retratar mujeres ingenuas y tontas sino todo lo contrario: sus personajes son decididos, valientes y tormentosos; enfrentan lo que la vida les depara con determinación aunque estas características no se observan en forma tan marcada en el caso de Agnes Grey.
Más allá de que no he leído todos los libros de las Brontë (creo que para cerrar un concepto del ideal bronteano debería leer también La inquilina de W
...more
Carmo
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inglaterra
Agnes Grey foi escrito pela mais nova das irmãs Brontë; Anne, (1820-1849) e publicado em 1847. É um romance com uma história muito simples e uma visão vitoriana acentuada, mas com uma protagonista muito moderna para a época.
Na casa de Agnes vivia-se com muito amor e pouco dinheiro.
Agnes decide então ser preceptora, uma decisão que visa ajudar financeiramente a família em dificuldades, mas também testar as suas próprias capacidades; vencer na vida sendo útil e romper com o estereótipo das mulher
...more
Sylvia
Dec 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: girls who care about virtue
Recommended to Sylvia by: Hannah Brockhaus
This is the kind of romance that I enjoy. Agnes Grey must be one of my favorite literary females. She's the type of role model who's not unrealistically perfect, but has developed virtues that make her a very worthy character. The book is certainly far from exciting or "passionate," but it has plenty of solid themes and lessons for young girls to learn from. It shows how the temporary pleasures of flirting are entirely fleeting, but the constant modesty and dependence on God is rewarded with tru ...more
MJ Nicholls
Firstly, let’s diagnose this phenomenon. I first encountered Brontëism—definable as a slavish devotion to every word the sisters put to parchment—at university. I encountered the syndrome in American students who had spent their teens reading comedies of manners and upmarket romance novels and found in the Brontës a vicarious way to eke out their own desires for windswept romances in huge drawing rooms. Then I met British students whose puppy love for Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre made me upchu ...more
Cheryl
Oct 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of the Victorian novel
Shelves: orchids, vintage, fiction
I hoped, that with the brave and strong,
My portioned task might lie;
To toil amid the busy throng,
With purpose pure and high.

(by Anne Brontë)

Though Tenant of Wildfell Hall is Anne Brontë's most popular novel, she is also remembered primarily for her verse. Being published at the tail end of her sister Emily's Wuthering Heights, this quiet novel by Anne Brontë was barely noticed by the critics. Yet there is something about her gentle prose that lures me.

Charlotte Brontë said this about her siste
...more
Rane
Jan 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

While her sisters may have started in the realm of Gothic romance, Anne Bronte gave us realism and if you dreamed once being a governess was awesome from reading Jane Eyre, Anne's Agnes Grey puts that notice to bed once and for all, with the question would have anyone have liked to have been a governess in this time and age?



Anne does give us at times an ironic view of the higher society in the way they handle their children and in their own actions of not being to blamed when one of their kids
...more
Kim

Agnes Grey is the first of two novels written by the youngest of the Bronte sisters. A number of aspects of the life of Anne Bronte, who died from tuberculosis at the age of 29, are reflected in the plot. The eponymous heroine is the daughter of a clergyman who loses his independent income, as a result of which she elects to work as a governess. Written in the form of a memoir, the first person narrative sets out Agnes' experiences working for two families, meeting and falling in love with a cle
...more
Fenia
Mar 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Re-reading the classics is always a pleasure,especially if there's a Bronte involved xD ♥
Lauren
Oct 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
4.5* - This was my first Bronte novel and I love it. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the experiences of a Victorian Governess who was trying to help her family as well as the different aspects of social class and how different these classes really were. This novel touches on many important issues that in many cases today are still being dealt with. The love story definitely left me wanting to know more than was told. The last thing i want to state is MR WESTON is wonderful.

Full Review can be
...more
Elizabeth
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.
So said the teachers of our childhood; and so say we to the children of the present day. All very judicious and proper no doubt; but are such assertions supported by actual experience?


Plot Summary

In many respects, Agnes bears some similarities to Jane Eyre, at least in terms of tem
...more
Dhanaraj Rajan
Aug 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
This is a Cinderella story with a small but important difference. The difference: It is not a 'rags-to-riches-story.' Agnes is a poor girl who suffers separation from the family and goes through much sufferings at the place of work. She works as a governess. She holds on believing only in the Providence (after all Agnes is the daughter of a vicar). She prays more when she suffers more. And when she loses almost the hope, God apparently hears her prayers and she is united with her lover. The love ...more
Kirsty
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was prompted to reread Anne Bronte's wonderful Agnes Grey after watching the BBC adaptation of the Brontes' lives, To Walk Invisible. Agnes Grey is beautifully written throughout, and Anne was undoubtedly a very gifted writer. This is a wonderful tome to be reunited with, with its memorable storyline and cast of characters. Bronte's turns of phrase are just lovely, and Agnes' first person perspective is so engaging. A refreshing, thoughtful, and intelligent read in many respects, and a fantast ...more
Jenny
Dec 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a sucker for good endings, and this one is so sweet. I wish the first 80 or 90 pages of this book were condensed; they contain too much summary and not enough story. But once Agnes gets to the Murrays', the novel becomes much more interesting. It reminds me of Jane Eyre but has its own charm. There are gentle and subtle humor, moments of genuine emotion expressed simply and fluidly, and interesting, well-developed characters. It's a simple book but well written.
I recommend this to Bronte fa
...more
Hugo
Dec 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Este passará a ser o romance que vou recomendar a quem quiser iniciar-se pelos clássicos Brontë, desprovido dos elementos góticos que caracterizam as outras obras das irmãs. Uma escrita simples, cativante, com mensagens importantes e atuais. Ri-me com as peripécias (leia-se maldades) das crianças e da frustração e submissão da personagem principal... algo familiar.
Richard
The position of governess is described in Charlotte Brontë's novel Jane Eyre and alluded to with some horror in Jane Austen's Emma as a last resort for the desperate. Now, having read this novel, I know why.

Agnes Grey is a girl who is beloved by her whole family, but when the family falls on hard times, she generously decides to get a job as a governess. Her illusions are shattered when she is given the job of civilizing a brood of horrid little monster children who refuse all attempts, no matte
...more
Arwen56
A dispetto del fatto che Emily Brontë sia la più gettonata tra le sorelle, personalmente ho di gran lunga preferito Charlotte e, adesso, Anne.

“Cime tempestose” l’ho letto tanti anni fa, sia in inglese, sia in italiano, e mi ha estenuato. Heathcliff e Catherine sono praticamente un’accoppiata mortifera, una continua “sega mentale” di cui non si comprende lo scopo oltre a quello di tediare inutilmente il lettore. Molto di maniera e ligio ai canoni romantici dell’epoca.

“Jane Eyre”, invece, l’ho pre
...more
Francine
There were a few things I really, really loved about Agnes Grey:
1. The beauty, simplicity and flow of Brontë's writing (in epistolary form, no less!),
2. The remarkably early consciousness regarding animal rights, and
3. The excitement of once again losing myself in a quaint, romantic little jaunt through Victorian England.

There were also a few things that really, really irked me about it:
1. Agnes (both the character and the work) had a tendency to be overly preachy and moralistic,
2. Despite being
...more
Salma
Mar 06, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Chandra and Abigail
The story is simple- Agnes Grey is a clergyman's daughter who wishes to earn her living as a governess. The book reads as a diary without the dates of her experiences 'teaching' the offspring of the 'cream of the crop' in nineteenth-century British society. I use those words in quotes because the narrator makes it very clear to the reader that learning for the sake of learning is not foremost on her students' minds. And she also makes it clear that she finds the fact that these shallow, arrogant ...more
Sara
Jan 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There can be no doubt how Anne Bronte felt about her experiences as a governess. Agnes Grey feels very autobiographical in those terms, with the spoiled children and the careless individuals of the upper class leading to a true understanding of how difficult such a position must have been for a young woman of this era. By all reports, Anne was ill suited to that profession and had it foisted upon her by necessity, just as Agnes does. That she wished to build the character of her charges and foun ...more
Rebecca
Jun 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: classics lovers
Shelves: classics
Again, I am very impressed with the style and proficiency of writing the youngest Bronte sister has. I really blazed through this book, whereas it took me a lot longer to read Villette (despite its being a much longer book, the time spent reading was disproportionate). I was intrigued by the article by Charlotte Bronte at the end of the book, where she reviews the life and works of her two younger sister, Emily and Anne. She really didn't understand Anne or her writing much at all. She had very ...more
Wealhtheow
A wealthy and feted woman falls in love with a humble clergyman, and insists on marrying him, although it loses her her dowry. The vicar cannot stop tormenting himself over all his wife gave up, to the extent that he loses what little money he has in a too-bold investment. As gentleborn, well-educated, penniless women, there are few options left for his daughters; the older takes up selling delicate watercolors, while the younger, Agnes, hires herself out as a governess. The first family she wor ...more
Jess
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who has overlooked Anne Bronte - shame on you!!!
Reading is my favourite occupation, when I have leisure for it and books to read.

AMEN.

-Edit 6/4/17 - Since writing this review back in February, I've found a really good BBC Radio adaptation of this novel to enrich your experience further if you're interested!! : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIN-1...

It really annoys me that Anne is so frequently written off as 'the least talented of the Bronte sisters' when her novels clearly prove that she deserves just as much acclaim as Charlotte Brontë
...more
Christy B
When venturing forth on Anne's work, I decided to start with Agnes Grey, rather than her more popular The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Agnes Grey is more autobiographical.

One of the things I noticed that differentiated Anne from her sisters was she was more to the point, more realistic in her writing. There was no taking the long way around, she got you to the point good and fast, yet without missing the sights along the way.

Agnes Grey is the story of a young woman basically forced to become a gover
...more
Meli
Apr 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Llevadero pero desapasionado.
Todo ocurre con absoluta normalidad y cotidianidad, sin ninguna sorpresa ni sobresalto.
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Anne Brontë was 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 Char ...more
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“Reading is my favourite occupation, when I have leisure for it and books to read.” 710 likes
“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.” 182 likes
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