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Drawing on her own experience, Anne Brontë exposes the isolated world of a nineteenth-century governess in her debut novel, Agnes Grey. This edition is introduced by historian and biographer Juliet Barker.
When Agnes Grey’s family falls on hard times she insists on being allowed to find work as a governess, but her idealistic spirit is challenged in her first position with the unruly Bloomfield children and their callous parents. She then moves on to work for the even wealthier Murray family, whose scheming daughters jeopardize the only bright spot in Agnes’s life, Edward Weston.
In the media
The most perfect prose narrative in English letters
Anne provided her heroine with a hero who was actually nice to women. This still feels revolutionary
A compelling Victorian take on the iniquities of the wealth gap
For too long [Anne] has been undervalued as the third-best Brontë. But her fiction, exploring the lamentably still-current themes of addiction and domestic violence and the abuse of vulnerable women working away from home, has a vigour and bracing satirical intelligence which places her in the first rank of what is arguably the greatest ever generation of novelists in English