A one-volume novel by Anne Bronte
- Published in 1847
- Agnes Grey is the first novel written by Anne Brontë, who at the time wrote under the male pen name, Acton Bell.
- The story is closely based on Brontë’s own experiences working as a governess, and how it affected her life.
- Significant themes include issues of oppression, abuse of women (especially governesses) Isolation, empathy, and the fair treatment of animals
- Agnes Grey is a coming of age story, style of the bildungsroman. The book has been favourably compared to Austen.
The story of a rector’s daughter= the narrator- Agnes
- Agnes takes service as a governess, first with the BLOOMFIELD family
- The children of the Bloomfield family are described as TIGERS’ CUBS
- “The Bloomfields are extremely rich and extremely mean. Agnes had not expected anything like this, and her naïve optimism is shaken. Mrs. Bloomsfield spoils her children beyond reason, and Mr. Bloomsfield constantly criticises Agnes for things beyond her control. The children are undisciplined and rude, and Agnes gets into constant trouble for not being able to control them. She is not given any means to punish them when they act out, so they continue to do so. Tom, the oldest boy, is quite evil, and tortures small animals for fun. In less than a year, Agnes is fired and must return home.”
- Then Agnes takes service as a governess with the MURRAYS
- the Murrays—is even richer than the Bloomsfields.
- There are two boys, John and Charles, who go away to school soon after Agnes arrives, but two girls,
- Rosalie and Matilda, remain. Matilda is a rambunctious tomboy, and Rosalie is a flirty, manipulative child, but they are not as bad as the Bloomsfield children. Agnes’ position is difficult but sustainable. At the MURRAYS- the conduct of her eldest charge ROSALIE Rosalie- a heartless coquette Rosalie is contrasted with her own DIGNIFIED, Stoical and gentle behaviour
- Agnes visits Nancy Brown, and old and nearly blind woman, occasionally to read the Bible to her. On her trips there, she meets Mr. Edward Weston, and the two begin a friendship. He surprises Agnes on a walk. He picks wild primroses for her, and Agnes saves one of them in her Bible. Weston shares that his mother has recently passed away. Rosalie Murray, recently introduced in society, notices this new relationship with curiosity.
- Rosalie marries ambitiously and unhappily but AGNES is happily united with Mr Weston, THE CURATE Mr Weston= the only one who showed kindness in Agnes’s days of servitude This novel reflects Anne Bronte’s Christianity and her views on education