Written when she was twenty-six, Agnes Grey is Anne Brontë’s first novel. It tells the story of a rector’s daughter who has to earn her living as a governess when her family enters a financial crisis. Drawing directly from her own experiences, Anne Brontë set out to describe the immense pressures that the governess’ life involved: the frustration, the isolation, and the insensitive and cruel treatment on the part of employers and their families.
Mature, insightful, and edged with a quiet irony, this debut displays a keen sense of moral responsibility and sharp eye for bourgeois attitudes and behavior—and the corrosive power of wealth.
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