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Agnes Grey (Penguin Classics) Paperback – January 3, 1989
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“The one story in English literature in which style, characters and subject are in perfect keeping.” —George Moore
From the Publisher
This book is in Electronic Paperback Format. If you view this book on any of the computer systems below, it will look like a book. Simple to run, no program to install. Just put the CD in your CDROM drive and start reading. The simple easy to use interface is child tested at pre-school levels.
Windows 3.11, Windows/95, Windows/98, OS/2 and MacIntosh and Linux with Windows Emulation.
Includes Quiet Vision's Dynamic Index. the abilty to build a index for any set of characters or words. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The titular Agnes is a young woman of modest means who takes work as a governess to help her family through financial hardship. Most of the book is dedicated to her hardships as a governess. More specifically, Agnes is constantly hampered in her attempts to educate or discipline her pupils by the parents’ insistence that the children are perfect special snowflakes who should not be unduly upset or bothered by the governess. It is later in the book that she meets Edward Weston and soon realizes she is in love with him. It’s not his looks, charm or even wit that attract her but his kindness, morality and piety.
The book is short and the plot is straightforward with very few twists and turns. Like Agnes, it wastes no time on frivolities but gets right to the point. It’s plain but it’s certainly not dull. It’s a book I would give is a gift to a girl just entering the tween years with the hope that it plants a seed that blooms into something bigger.
The true author of this book is Anne Bronte, the youngest of the Bronte sisters. When you get this book it will show three pen names, because it was included with two other books, penned by two of her sisters; Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. It is being presented in single book form here, but it is true to the original, hence the three pen names on the the first page. All three were later published separately using their given names.
I love the writing of this age! The sentence structure, wording, and vocabulary swept me away. The pace is steady and my emotions were in play as I read. It is a "thinking" book, too. My emotions have faded, but I am left thinking about how deep this book really goes.
At first glance, it is a romance. It also is a unveiling, an "outing" of the societal class structure of Brontes' time; the manner of marriage among the higher (richer) class; and an indictment of child-rearing, and education of the children of the wealthy. The beauty of it is these flaws were done inside a romance.! When the authors were identified as three of the Brontes', the uproar was immense among the upper class.
There are three strong themes that run through this book. The first is the love of family. Opposed to that is the "idea of family". The second is that of strong faith above all else; the idea that we should live our lives with faith in our foremost thoughts. Opposed to that is the idea that "looking well in the eyes of others while performing good works" keeps the image of the " idea of family" intact. Out of the first three, the exposure of children being raised by nannies and governesses, and the non-education the children were receiving, caused the most uproar.
These are the main themes that stood out for me. I have identified others, but it would be kinder to leave them for you to discover in this wonderful, deceptively-innocent tale.
If you are a lover of the written word, get this book. For an excellent example of "outing", as it is used today, get this book. I loved it! It was, and is, fabulous!
Obviously, Anne and Charlotte were chiseled from the same stone, influenced by the same forces and reading material. They were also both governesses. BUT. Agnes Grey was written first, and accepted for publication first, though only published after Jane Eyre. So I did start to wonder how much Charlotte was influenced by Anne's writing. In addition, Rochester, with his dark brooding mysteriousness and passionate ability to love one woman, is reminiscent of Heathcliff. It's almost as if Charlotte very cleverly took both those books, merged them, and added her own unique and dramatic touches.
That said, Agnes Grey is much more subdued than Jane Eyre. It's really Agnes' experiences with her charges that are at the heart of the story - not her relationship with the curate, though those inspire the most touching passages of thwarted love. Who can forget the scene where Agnes kills a nest of fledglings with a stone to save them from being tortured by her psychopathic young "master"? Apparently, this was based on a real incident.
In my opinion, Anne didn't hit her full stride until her next book, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. And Agnes CAN be a bit annoying, with her religious moralizing. The book is such a bleak and realistic look at the life of an unprivileged, working young woman in the 1800s that I was actually surprised Agnes got her happy ending (which, given the times, meant getting married to a man who wasn't too terrible).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Anxious to read all their other books as soon as possible.Read more
Agnes Grey is third best.
It is written simply and sweetly.Read more