Agnes Grey

Agnes Grey

eBook - 2005
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Agnes Grey , by Anne Bronte , is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics : New introductions commissioned from today''s top writers and scholars Biographies of the authors Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events Footnotes and endnotes Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work Comments by other famous authors Study questions to challenge the reader''s viewpoints and expectations Bibliographies for further reading Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences--biographical, historical, and literary--to enrich each reader''s understanding of these enduring works.

Written when women--and workers generally--had few rights in England, Agnes Grey exposes the brutal inequities of the rigid class system in mid-nineteenth century Britain. Agnes comes from a respectable middle-class family, but their financial reverses have forced her to seek work as a governess. Pampered and protected at home, she is unprepared for the harsh reality of a governess''s life. At the Bloomfields and later the Murrays, she suffers under the snobbery and sadism of the selfish, self-indulgent upper-class adults and the shrieking insolence of their spoiled children. Worse, the unique social and economic position of a governess--"beneath" her employers but "above" their servants--condemns her to a life of loneliness.

Less celebrated than her older sisters Charlotte and Emily, Anne Bronte was also less interested in spinning wildly symbolic, romantic tales and more determined to draw realistic images of conditions in Victorian England that need changing. While Charlotte''s Jane Eyre features a governess who eventually and improbably marries her employer, Agnes Grey deals with the actual experiences of middle-class working women, experiences Anne had herself endured during her hateful tenure as a governess.

Fred Schwarzbach serves as Associate Dean and teaches in the General Studies Program of New York University. He is the author of Dickens and the City , the editor of Victorian Artists and the City and Dickens''s American Notes , a contributor to the Oxford Reader''s Companion to Dickens , and the author of scores of articles, essays, and reviews on Victorian life and letters.

Publisher: New York, NY : Barnes & Noble, 2005.
ISBN: 9781411431720
1411431723
Characteristics: 1 online resource (224 p.)

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laurakgrimm
Jul 05, 2012

I really enjoyed this book. It had suspense, romance and told a story about a girl who wasn't poor but wasn't rich either. Even though Anne isn't as famous as her sisters, I think she should be better known for her wonderful works.

t
tinybookworm
Jan 27, 2011

loved this book!!!! one of my all time favourites.

t
Truffs
Jan 17, 2011

Interesting view of the life and times of anne Bronte as experienced by her.

k
kalio
Jul 06, 2010

Her sister?s novel about the life of a governess hit bookshelves only a few months before her own, but Anne Brontë put pen to paper on Agnes Grey long before Charlotte wrote Jane Eyre. Timing and the whims of the critics dictated that Jane was better remembered than Agnes and Charlotte better remembered than Anne (though it didn?t help that Anne died at the tender age of twenty-nine). But Agnes Grey has never been allowed to fade completely into the background. The heroine is a sheltered young woman in the bosom of a poor but loving family. To help with the finances and assert her own independence, she becomes governess for the Bloomfields. Agnes has hopes of a kind, motherly mistress and sweet, obedient charges. What she gets is the precise opposite?and she is completely unprepared for the unruly, obstinate, and even violent behavior of the children. Fed up, Agnes moves on to the upper-class Murray family. The children are older and better behaved, but their governess is more a thing than a person to them, and sixteen-year-old Miss Murray?s coquettish flirting with any and every man in sight is especially distressing. Anyone who has ever had the care of children (even well-behaved children) will instantly sympathize with Miss Grey, become completely invested in Agnes? struggles, and hope desperately for her rescue. Anne Brontë?s aim in writing Agnes Grey was to expose the plight of the governess of her day. It was a goal she accomplished with depth and purpose and the novel still serves as an important portrait of its times?not to mention a fine and elegant story.

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