Agnes Grey, Paperback
4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Agnes Grey is a trenchant expose of the frequently isolated, intellectually stagnant and emotionally starved conditions under which many governesses worked in the mid-nineteenth century.

This is a deeply personal novel written from the author's own experience and as such Agnes Grey has a power and poignancy which mark it out as a landmark work of literature dealing with the social and moral evolution of English society during the last century.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9781853262166


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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

It can be discussed how great a classic this is. Certainly not anything like Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. Maybe even just a classic because, well, she's the third sister….and yet, here I've read it again - and enjoyed it even more this second time. Based on Anne's own experiences as an underpaid and unappreciated governess - we follow the naive and timid Agnes Grey as she's starting a new life as a governess. Her gentle and meek nature are certainly worthy of praise, but not the best weapons to tame two wild unruling children - she is simply run over by the double trouble. Then she moves on to another post - to take care of two conceited teenage girls.Not is all gloom. There's people to meet in the local church - the new priest, Mr. Weston is one of them - and he seems to have perception enough to see Agnes' good character and noble heart.Agnes is one of those girls who go through life unnoticed (maybe like Anne Brontë herself?) - she's willing to suffer and be ignored and bullied - above and beyond duty - long after we mere mortals have run away. She's "downstairs" and "upstairs" keep reminding her of that fact.I believe Anne must have enjoyed getting this story out of her system so to speak. Like a therapeutic thing - giving expression to all the unfair treatment she herself suffered.

Review by

Not nearly as remarkable as her sisters' novels, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, but still Agnes Grey was a good read. I liked that it was quick unlike many of the classics that can be hard to get through.

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