Anne Bronte’s “Agnes Grey” is a riveting, painstaking, and compelling portrayal of a young governess’s life in mid-eighteen century England. The distinction between the classes, the materialistic greed, ill treatment, and disregard of people of lower classes, and the agonizing abuse that educated women, born without money or a title before their name, had to endure is both heart wrenching and quite disturbing.
The narrative flows like a pristine river, passing through virgin country, and eventually depositing itself into the often violent and turbulent mouth of the ocean. The writing, especially at the end of this book, is magnificent and awe aspiring. One could not help but wonder how many English teachers and writing instructors, have wished and prayed that their students could write with a quarter of the clarity of Ms. Bronte.
No, this is not the masterpiece that “Wuthering Heights”is, written by her sister Emily; nor is it the masterpiece “Jane Eyre” is, written by her other sister Charlotte but it is nevertheless a wonderful piece of literature that any serious student of literature should definitely read.
Anne Bronte died at the young age of twenty-nine and both her sisters Emily and Charlotte also died at young ages. Like Byron, Shelly, and Keats one could only wonder what other magic and beauty they would of left us if they had lived to at least middle age. “Death be not Proud.”