Henry Avila's Reviews > Agnes Grey
Henry Avila's review
Jul 02, 2013
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 owes money too... Agnes's parents and older sister Mary and she, must struggle to survive. It doesn't help that Richard Grey, goes into a deep, prolonged depression, always brooding, and becomes nearly useless. Growing up Agnes, knows little about the rest of the world, seeing only her relatives and educated by them. Reading was her escape from a dull, secluded life. After much persuasion, (the unthinkable idea) Anne gets permission, to leave home and find work, twenty miles from her house, in Yorkshire, the eighteen- year- old, has secured a position, with the Bloomfield family. Four children, Tom,7, Mary Ann, 6, Fanny, 4 , and Harriet, 2, all brats, the little boy likes torturing captured birds. The invariably kindhearted Miss Grey, is powerless to prevent such cruelties, Mrs. Bloomfield, (doesn't care) and had given her a cold reception, putting Agnes, in her place, as a lowly governess. The new servant quickly becomes disillusioned, the world is a harsh place, indeed. The children disobey her, ridicule Agnes, and teaching them becomes impossible. The father, is never around, can't be bothered. She gets dismissed and returns home, to the drab parsonage, but Agnes will try again, this time seventy miles away, yet another unpleasant experience . The Murray's have older children... two young boys and Rosalie at 16, very pretty, almost a woman but immature and selfish, her tomboyish younger sister, Matilda, she would rather ride her horses, than dress up for dances. Her only happiness is the curate, she Agnes, had met, Edward Weston, while visiting a sick old woman, still the plain looking girl, knows her limitations. Soon silly Rosalie, with much encouragement from her social climbing, callous mother, becomes engaged to a rich, evil, drunkard and barbaric aristocrat, Lord Ashby. The flirtatious Rosalie marries him, at a proper age, but loves another, Agnes had warned her, but was laughed at, just a common servant. It is all about money and social position ! Of course later on she, will greatly regret her choice, you can't sleep with gold, it gives no warmth. A chance meeting with Mr. Edward Weston, a man she , never thought, would see again, months after Agnes, had left her work. ... on a lonely quiet beach, in Scarborough, early in the morning, as the glorious sun rose, the two watching the lovely sight, silently, no words were necessary... they knew what each felt...
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