Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Sunday, February 14, 2010

"Agnes Grey" by Anne Bronte

Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte (1847, 194 pages)  

Anne Bronte is overshadowed in the literary world by her sisters Charlotte and Emily.   She only lived a tragically short twenty nine years.   In addition to Agnes Grey, her first novel, she has one other work, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.
Having very recently read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte I could not help but compare the two works.    Perhaps Agnes Grey does not look as deep into the minds and souls of it characters as Jane Eyre does.  Agnes Grey does have a gentle friendly seeming wisdom and quality that I really loved.   Perhaps the romance of Mr Rochester and Jane Eyre is more exciting somehow than that of Agnes Grey and her curate love, Mr Weston but it seems somehow more real.    I found it really entertaining and informative to read about Agnes Grey's life as a governess.  Some of her charges were quite the little monsters, such as the boy who liked to torture captured birds.    I thought Agnes' visit to the home of one of her former pupils, Rosalie Murray, who had realized her life ambition of becoming the wife of a lord, was a wonderful set piece that showed great insight into the dynamics of the relationships depicted.   I really enjoyed this book.   It is a lighter read than Jane Eyre but that does not mean a lighter book.    I welcomed the happy endings of the book.   I think most people who would have an interest in this book will be glad they read it.   I know I am.     I will read her second novel soon.     I also liked the fact that she included chapter titles for the episodes.  

I am including this book for these challenges
Mutual Reads-(Victorian Novels-completed with this work)-I will try for a higher level
New Authors (means new to the reader)
19th Century Women Writers
All About the Brontes Challenge-completed with this read-I will read on in the Brontes for sure.
Typically British
Take Another Change Challenge (read books by two different family members)

I will go on to read  Villete, Tenant of Wildfell Hall, and Wuthering Heights in the next six weeks or so and will probably end up reading all of the Bronte novels.   

Mel u 


Emily H. said...

Great review! This one is on my list to read for the challenge.

Helen said...

I'm planning to read this one for the Brontes Challenge too. I've just finished reading Anne Bronte's other book, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, and loved it.

claire said...

Mel, I too loved Agnes Grey and Jane Eyre both. Also thought Agnes Grey the more realistic of the two. I'm curious how you'll see Wuthering Heights; it's my favourite Brontë but a lot of people either really love it or hate it. I'm going to read Villette and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall soon, too.

Suko said...

Mel, your Reading Life button for this challenge is lovely! I need to learn how to make my own buttons one of these days.

Agnes Grey sounds like a very good novel. Thank you for another insightful review.

Anonymous said...

Agnes Grey is a novel I should read and you have again reminded me of it. I have read The Tennant of Wildfell Hall and found it to be perhaps the most modern of the Bronte novels, I did really enjoy that one. I suspect that Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights will always be my favourite works by the Bronte's, I will be re-reading these some time this year.

Mel u said...

Emily-I will look forward to your post on the novel

Helen -I will be reading Tenant of Wildfell Hall very soon also-glad to hear you liked it

Claire-I hope to read all the Bronte novels this year-looking forward to all of them maybe Wuthering Heights the most

Suko-thanks as always-

Book Pusher -I am looking forward to reading more of the Brontes-Agnes Grey for sure worth reading-thanks for your visit

ds said...

Jane Eyre is one of my all-time favorites. But I've been meaning to read Anne Bronte. I'll start with this one, thanks to you. As always, you have written a clear and insightful review.

Mel u said...

ds-thanks as always-Agnes Grey is a painless read

Jenners said...

I guess the writing gene was strong in the Bronte family. I suspect poor Anne is always being compared to her other sisters.

Laura's Reviews said...

I also thought Agnes Grey was a more realistic look at the life of a governess, but my favorite Anne Bronte novel is The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

Poor Anne is always compared unfavorable to her sisters, but I think her novels are excellent.