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Agnes Grey: With a Memoir of Her Sisters by Charlotte Bronte (Penguin Popular Classics) Paperback – 27 Sep 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (27 Sept. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140621083
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140621082
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 1.4 x 18.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 760,151 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I can't believe no-one has reviewed Anne's book. Better than The Tenant and easily better than Shirley, as good as Villette, this is such an over-looked book, as she is an over-looked Bronte sister. She wasn't as vocal as Charlotte, or as tragic as Emily, but she was a good poet and writer. Agnes Grey is a sharply observed potrait of what Anne knew best - being a Governess in a rich family - and maybe falling in love with a curate. She finishes the fiction off happily, and who can't wish that she had been able to marry her Mr Weston in real life too. There are no mad wives in the attic, or ghosts at the window, so I suppose that people think it's boring. But it's not. I don't really know why I like it, it is like a comfort read and is highly recommended when you want a rest from the tragic and the dramatic.
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Format: Paperback
In "Agnes Grey" the narrator reveals to us a world of cruelty, neglect and frivolity disguised by wealth and refined manners. Although she is treated unfairly by the rich families for which she works as a governess, Agnes remains self-confident and firm in her beliefs. The intense passion characteristic of Charlotte's and Emily's works is replaced here by accuracy in describing very personal feelings and the showing of pure honesty. Anne Brontë has given us a book that will charm any reader sensitive enough to explore the heart of a good, persevering young woman.
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Format: Paperback
Whether or not the works of Ann Brontë would still be read today if she had not been sister to the more illustrious Charlotte and Emily, is a moot point. Agnes Grey is certainly penned with a more subdued passion than those two giants of the Romantic genre, Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre; and kindly curate Edward Weston is no brooding Rochester or Heathcliffe. Yet for all that Anne's work is a thoroughly proficient and likeable tale of a lonely and religious woman desperate for love and care in harsh times. After an accident results in the loss of her family's fortune, young Agnes decides to seek a position as a governess to help out her impoverished family. Her first posting is with the appalling Bloomfield family whose vicious and vindictive children torture animals and persecute their governess. You can't help but feel for Agnes as she is ridiculed for being unable to control the children under her care and then admonished when she tries a little discipline to rectify matters. Her second position with the better mannered Murray family is not so dreadful though this time her wards are two spoilt young girls scarred by a fatuous vanity. But Agnes's heart is elsewhere...
The plot is a little linear and predictable but a there is a quiet anger throughout the book over the contempt and ill-treatment afforded at that time to governesses who were often very well-educated young women (someone speaking three languages today would be strongly sought after) but with lowly social status. For me, Agnes Grey is a deeply empathetic delight.
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Format: Paperback
Agnes Grey is quite different from Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre and Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights. Somehow more modern I think. Agnes Gery comes from a quite poor family and works as a governess. U get a quite good picture of such a womans life in the 1900 century (1800-talet!) from the book. It was also very easy to read though the book is old. Anne wrote in quite a modern language. Some people say that ther isn't enought deaph(?) in Agnes Grey, but I think we dive quite deep in her character. Agnes Grey also reminds me of Jane Austens books, especially concidering the love story. It is very similiar to Austens Mansfield Park. Anne Bronte doen't however reach Jane Austens cleverness in dialogue etc...
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Format: Paperback
I suppose 'quaint' is the word that best describes 'Agnes Grey.' I enjoyed reading it, it is to all extents and purposes a sweet book, it revolves around the career of a victorian governess, Agnes Grey, who takes up work in a couple of houses and experiences the troubles connected with that life. Anne Bronte draws on her experience working as a governess to create a realistic and intriguing look into the life of governesses and into what kind of people the children of the aristocracy at the time were like. Attached to the book is what I can only describe as a token romance, in which Anne falls in love with the local clegyman and the inevitable marriage proposal finishes the book after it looks as if he has gone from her life forever. (You might think I'm spoiling the plot there, but really, you can spot what will happen a mile off.)
Whilst it is a nice book, and you wont regret reading it over the course of the couple of evenings it will take, it reads more like Anne Bronte's diary than a novel, it's little more than a series of events with a token romance attached to make it into a novel. It also lacks the character depth and emotion that you can find in the works of Emily and Charlotte Bronte. But nevertheless, I would still reccommend this, although dont expect anything more than a 'nice' story.
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