Saturday, July 10, 2010

Another Bronte Down

I've read all of Jane Austen's books many times over, but I'm still working my way through the Bronte sisters'. I checked another off my list when I recently finished Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte, probably the least known of the three sisters.

The title character's middle class family loses their money. Too well-bred to be part of the lower classes but too poor to be grouped with the upper classes, she goes out and finds work as a governess. The story deals with the struggles she faces dealing with the two different families she works for. Things I've read about this book have all mentioned the fact that it brought to light the extreme hardships faced by a governesses at that time in England, but I didn't think the conditions depicted here seemed all that harsh or terrible- mostly just annoying. Agnes Grey herself seemed kind of one-dimensional, and the eventual romantic culmination that's found in all of the Brontes' novels was only moderately engaging. Not a bad book, but probably not something I'll feel the need to reread over and over.

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