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Agnes Grey

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Author: Anne Brontë
Published: 1847
Language: English
Wordcount: 68,985 / 194 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 74.7
LoC Category: PN
Downloads: 9,052 1235

A novel that addresses the precarious position of a governess, and how it affected a young woman in that position: some critics, in fact, feel that Agnes Grey deserves the reputation of a 'governess novel' far more than Jane Eyre, as it is decidedly more realistic and down-to-earth in its depiction of the life of a governess.

Show Excerpt

hildren. Do let me, mamma!'

'But, my love, you have not learned to take care of YOURSELF yet: and young children require more judgment and experience to manage than elder ones.'

'But, mamma, I am above eighteen, and quite able to take care of myself, and others too. You do not know half the wisdom and prudence I possess, because I have never been tried.'

'Only think,' said Mary, 'what would you do in a house full of strangers, without me or mamma to speak and act for you--with a parcel of children, besides yourself, to attend to; and no one to look to for advice? You would not even know what clothes to put on.'

'You think, because I always do as you bid me, I have no judgment of my own: but only try me--that is all I ask--and you shall see what I can do.'

At that moment my father entered and the subject of our discussion was explained to him.

'What, my little Agnes a governess!' cried he, and, in spite of his dejection, he laughed at the idea.

'Yes, papa, don't YOU say anything agains

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 3.7 from 3 reviews: ****
Carol Jo

A very well written, interesting book; lovely usage of the English language. Highly recommended.


Read this several years ago and wasn't much impressed. I thought the heroine wasn't much to write home about and the young man she falls in love with was a simp. Read as a historical curiosity.


One of the good classics I would say, though a bit slow but in the end tends to let you think about simple morale of free-living and love and life, only of your own, and not to intimate others, especially.

It'll make you think of the word 'life' in extreme sense, and you have to understand it better. We often think we know what 'life' means, but we are often be troubled by our own conscience on this matter.

Though it's a jewel, and only book written by a precious Bronte of her times...



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