Books

Thoughts on… Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë

Agnes GreyTitle: Agnes Grey
Author: Anne Brontë
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Date: 2010 (1846)
Summary: Agnes Grey looks at childhood from nursery to adolescence, and it also charts the frustrations of romantic love, as Agnes starts to nurse warmer feelings towards the local curate, Mr. Weston. Sally Shuttleworth’s fascinating introduction considers the book’s fictional and narrative qualities, its relationship with Victorian child-rearing and the responsibilities of parents, and the changing attitudes to the book influenced by modern concerns for children’s rights.


I really enjoyed the narrative voice of Agnes Grey. Agnes is a rather independent character who, although sometimes fairly meek, stands up for herself and her beliefs. She takes on the job as a governess, a notoriously precarious job in the Victorian era due to their role in family life, to alleviate the financial pressure that her family face.

Many of the people that Agnes comes into contact with are rich, cruel, and incredibly selfish. Some of them come to regret their actions and some don’t. One character that I felt uncomfortable reading about was Tom Bloomfield, one of Agnes’ pupils. Tom is clearly a psychopath who tortures animals, much to the displeasure of Agnes who attempts to stop his behaviour, and he is often encouraged to commit these awful acts by his father and uncle. There are some scenes of animal cruelty in the book, especially towards birds, and I felt sick reading it.

I did enjoy reading Agnes Grey, minus the moments of animal cruelty, and it gave me an insight into the life that Anne Brontë would have experienced as a Victorian governess. It shows off Anne Brontë’s particular writing style and I liked how clear and direct the narrative is.

You can read Agnes Grey for free via Project Gutenberg.


if_twitter_online_social_media_734367 if_instagram_online_social_media_photo_734395 if_goodreads_social_media_logo_1407939

4 thoughts on “Thoughts on… Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.