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am 13. August 2005
Mrs Brontë tells the tale of Agnes Grey, a young governess of a little over 20 and her experience working for two families, The Bloomfields and their 3 children Tom, Mary Ann and Fanny, and with the Murrays and their two daughters Mathilda and Rosalie.
In writing her first novel, Mrs Brontë must have drawn from her own experiences in 1839 when she worked for the Ingham family at Blake Hall and from 1840 till 1845 with the Robinsons at Thorp Green Hall. As her sister Charlotte sated, this personal experience lies behind many of the characters and events as well as Agnes's feelings in the novel.
As a first novel, it show an astonishing maturity and technical accomplishment since "Agnes Grey" is in many ways a very personal story. Mrs Brontë describes as vividly as possible the strong pressures that a governess' life involved at that time - the isolation, the frustrations, the insensitive treatment of employers and their families. Actually it transpires in this novel that middle-class households used to consider a governess as little more than a servant thus undervaluing her role as an educator. And the author's view of such households is sharply cynical: they are self-satisfied, vulgar, small-minded snobs who delight in social pretension. They are mercilessly depicted in their moral emptiness and Agnes actually suffers from moral isolation which becomes more and more oppressive and alienating, especially during her stay with the Murrays. In this family Agnes feel deprived from ordinary human kindness and warmth of affection so much so that she falls into depression because she feels that her moral identity is being destroyed, no longer confident in her "distinctions of right and wrong".
A remarkable novel about a young woman and such issues as moral behaviour, moral responsibility and individual integrity.
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am 24. März 2000
The language in Anne Bronte's book is much lighter than the works found in her sisters' works. Although most often being criticized as not having as much of a literary talent as her sisters, I think that if readers read this book with their heart, they will be able to appreciate the beauty of this novel.
I myself find this book a very delightful read, though I can't deny that it's sad at the same time to know that how governess at that time was being so ill-treated by the family. Knowing that Anne has drawn quite a lot of her personal experience of being a governess herself into this work makes me appreciate this work and love this book even more.
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am 5. April 2000
If you have read Emily or Charlotte Bronte's books before, you will find this book a lot easier. Both the language usage and the plot weren't completed as the aforesaid Bronte sisters. This is a story about the struggle of a governess called Agnes and how she found her own future in the end. If you are interested in Victorian Literature, I will then say that this is one of the must read, because it gives you a glimpse of how educated women's life during that time was like. Consider that Anne Bronte herself had been a governess too, it just made this story even truer.
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am 4. Juni 1999
The book has the elements I look for in a nice story that warms the heart: a faithful heroine, heartless villains, and a happy ending. But the way Anne Bronte has written it takes some of the usual charm out of these elements. This book is filled with religious musings that are meant to edify the reader. They are good thoughts and I agree with them, but they do become quite repetitive. Also, the narrator herself is repetitive. I, however, did enjoy reading this book. It's not as thick a reading as Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre; think of it as a stepping stone towards those.
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am 19. April 1999
This first of two novels from the youngest and least-known Bronte sister, it is an eye-opening account of the career of a governess, the only respectable job for middle-class single women in the mid-1800s. True, the style of writing is quite different from Charlotte & Emily, but it is still worth your time. Anne based events and characters in this book on her failed career as a governess for two families in Yorkshire. A very satisfying work, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.
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am 28. Dezember 1998
It is unfortunate that one is unable to enjoy this book without comparing it to Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights; however, it holds it own beauty.
I was delighted with the baby sitting scenes and found myself laughing with the narrator, and also feeling all of her pain and anguish.
She's "lighter" than her sisters and the ending reminds me a little of a Jane Austen novel. I may even compare her to Louisa May Alcott. I was pleasantly surprised.
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am 24. Februar 2015
Agnes Grey is about a young lady who takes a post as governess to help her financially struggling family. But her occupation turns out to be far from the idyllic ideal Agnes had imagined: the children are unruly and the parents are not allowing her to discipline their children, but also don’t do it themselves. Agnes struggles as she is confronted with a lack of morals in these higher classes, that is so very foreign to her own nature.

Normally I wouldn’t review classics because I feel inadequate. But I just had to with this one! This was such a pleasure to read. Not only do I love Anne Brontë’s writing, I could also relate very well to Agnes Grey as a character, as I am starting out in the teaching profession myself. I knew the helplessness she felt at being confronted with wholly uncooperative children and saw the same lack of experience and authority in her, as in me.

Her reflections on her pupils and the families she lived with were interesting to read and at the same time revealed a lot about Agnes as a character. I liked that she had flaws that weren’t too obvious, to the reader as well as to herself. Also, I always enjoy the theological reflections that are still present in 19th century literature. Novels nowadays are very shy of them but I find it fascinating to think how we still haven’t graduated from the same discourses. There is a romance element in this novel but it is not the focus.

The story was inspired by Anne’s own experiences as a governess. I have also read The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by her and I cannot decide which of her two novels I like better. As a heroine, I definitely prefer Agnes Grey because I just saw so much of me in her. I wish Anne Brontë had written more novels because out of the three Brontë sisters, I have enjoyed her novels and style the most so far.

This novel isn’t long and I recommend it to anyone in the teaching profession, especially if you are starting out and don’t know what’s what. Also Anne Brontë just writes good books, if you ask me.
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am 18. Juni 1998
The feeling with which this book is written is absolutely superb. Knowing that in real life Anne's lover died, it's even more painful to read what Agnes says about her marriage, how happy she is. Furthermore it gives an excellent view into the victorian households where governesses were forced to live. I agree with George Moore who said that Agnes Grey was the 'best prose narrative in English literature'!
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am 26. September 1998
The danger about Agnes Grey is that one tends to compare the author with her sisters. Anne's novel covers neither the psychological grounds of Emily's Wuthering Heights, nor does it contain the plot devices and personal tone of Charlotte's work. As a 19th century novel, it's a fine piece of work - as a novel from a Bronte, it leaves something to be desired.
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am 14. Januar 2015
Das Buch der Bronté ist heute immer noch sehr lesenswert; eine schöne klare Sprache mit vielen interessanten Zeitzeugnissen. Letztlich ist man froh, heute als Frau zu leben und nicht damals.
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