With the success of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, and Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, the third Bronte Sister, Anne, sometimes gets overlooked. I've actually only read one book by the Brontes and that's Wuthering Heights, I chose Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte as the second.
"When Agnes's father loses the family savings, young Agnes determines to make her own living - as a governess. Working for the Bloomfields, her enthusiasm is soon dampened by isolation and the cruelty of the children in her charge. Agnes hopes for better in her second job, but when the scheming elder daughter Rosalie makes designs on Agnes's new friend, the kind curate Mr Weston, she feels herself silenced and sidelined. Becoming a governess is one thing, becoming invisible is quite another."
I was engaged in this novel right from the very first page. They do say write about what you know, and as Anne Bronte was a governess herself, she did just that. Although a work of fiction, various aspects of Agnes Grey's life mirrors that of Anne Bronte. The book highlights the huge differences in class in 1847 when this novel was published, and what is expected of marriage. A predictable ending but I don't mind that. It's a shame that the book was published a couple of months after Jane Eyre, as Charlotte stole Anne's thunder, otherwise I'm sure that more would have been made of this book than was.
I shall definitely read more from Anne Bronte, in fact I'd like to read more from all three of the Bronte Sisters.
That sounds a really interesting story and not one I had heard of before.ReplyDelete
Anne Bronte is my favourite of the three sisters - she wrote about subjects way ahead of her time, speaking for those who had no recourse or recognition in law - women, governesses, abused wives. Her novels are very real and have no supernatural interventions. 'Dear, gentle Anne' (according to Charlotte) she wasn't!ReplyDelete
Just as an addition - there's a good biography of Anne Bronte, if you're interested: Anne Bronte Reimagined: a View from the 21st Century by Adelle Hay and this book is also worth a read: Take Courage: Anne Bronte and the Art of Life by Samantha Ellis. It seems Anne Bronte is finally coming out from the shadows of her more famous sisters.ReplyDelete
I loved Jane Eyre & read it several times when younger & think I've read Wuthering Heights, but not Agnes Grey. I have visited the Bronte Parsonage & found it fascinating learning about the children etc. Thanks for recommending. Take care & hugs.ReplyDelete
Interesting. I haven't read any of Anne's books, thanks for the recommendation.ReplyDelete
I haven't read that one so thank you for highlighting it.ReplyDelete
I have read her other book but I don't remember it it as it was such a long time ago, I might just have to read it again, Agnes Gray sounds like a good read.ReplyDelete
Gosh it is years since I have read any Bronte - but it has reminded me that Haworth is only a stones throw away from here and we are well due a visit.ReplyDelete