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Topic: Anyone read "Agnes Grey" by Anne Bronte?

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Subject: Anyone read "Agnes Grey" by Anne Bronte?
Date Posted: 3/13/2008 7:13 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2008
Posts: 389
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I'm reading it now, and all I can say is....Charlotte she ain't!

Thank goodness I didn't spend a credit on it.  I'm reading it via www.dailylit.com.  (I hope it's okay to mention Daily Lit.  It isn't a commercial site and they don't offer that many titles.  I'd much rather read a real book when possible.  This one isn't available on PBS.)

I think I'll finish it just to see how she finally deals with the little monsters she's governess-ing.

Any opinions?

Date Posted: 3/15/2008 10:35 AM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2006
Posts: 210
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I'm a fan of Anne Bronte's, so I enjoyed the book.  Just finished her Tenant of Wildfell Hall for the 2d time.

Date Posted: 3/15/2008 9:18 PM ET
Member Since: 2/7/2008
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I've read all of them - all the Bronte novels. And the only one I really love is Jane Eyre. I can't stand Wuthering Heights... I mean, really, really can't deal with Cathy, and Heathcliff is just as bad. Even Charlotte's other novels don't compare to Jane (which was the first and only book in my life that I finished, breathed a hugh sigh, and turned back to the front page and started again. I was only 13, so that may have had something to do with it!!!)

Anne is much less extreme than Emily - Agnes Grey was an ok read, but a little predictable and plodding. Tenant of Wildfell Hall was the same way for me. Readable, enjoyable, but not really living up to the Bronte reputation.

But I sometimes wonder if my opinion of 'poor dear Anne' is coloured by Charlotte's managing of Anne's reputation. There's nothing really wrong with either book. Just we all know that she's not as great as Charlotte or as passionate as Emily and so we don't expect as much from her. But her books are perfectly good examples of their time and genre. The moralising is a little more obvious with Anne, but again, a decent enough book in it's time and day.

But overall, yep, Charlotte she ain't.



Date Posted: 3/16/2008 3:13 PM ET
Member Since: 4/22/2007
Posts: 2,461
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Agreed that she pales in comparison to Charlotte.  My absolutel favorite by her is Villette.  Mainly because of the ending.  It's believable heart wrenching realism.

Date Posted: 3/17/2008 7:35 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2008
Posts: 389
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I'm still reading Agnes Grey and I do want to see what becomes of her, so there must be something in her writing.
I do want to read Tenant of Wildfell Hall if someone posts it someday. (Ha, found it online!)

Really didn't like Wuthering Heights.  I don't see anything romantic about those two depressing people.

I loved Jane Eyre and have read it a couple of times and seen various movie versions.  I have Villette and Shirley on my shelves, so I hope to read them eventually.

Good to hear all of your opinions!


Last Edited on: 3/30/08 3:21 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/23/2008 7:13 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2008
Posts: 389
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Just finished "Agnes Grey".  I did end up enjoying it when I stopped comparing her to Charlotte. She has her own strong points and I thought it was a nice story.

Now I'm going to read "Tenant of Wildfell Hall" on the www.literature.org site.

Date Posted: 3/24/2008 8:58 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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Yes, I read "Agnes Grey" a long, LONG time ago. I think I enjoyed it. I am a huge fan of all things Bronte so I think that helps. Certainly it's no "Jane Eyre" but it I like it just fine.
Subject: She's quite a competent writer but...
Date Posted: 4/18/2008 7:49 PM ET
Member Since: 2/3/2008
Posts: 32
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she has this problem of having two geniuses (or genii) for sisters. (Actually, they were all genii in their made-up worlds.) At least one 19th century critic thought AG was the most perfect novel in the language. Wildfell Hall (note the WH initials for the house - both Anne's and Charlotte's second novels were influenced by Wuthering Heights) is a brutally honest look at the disintegration of a marriage and what women's lot in those days was, even if Helen is really too good to be true.
Date Posted: 4/26/2008 6:23 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2008
Posts: 389
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I enjoyed Tenant of Wildfell Hall, though I'm finding it's not as satisfying to read books online as it is to hold a real copy in your hand. 

I think it's amazing that Anne completed these two novels considering that she died so young.  These women would have been fascinating to know!

Date Posted: 5/12/2008 4:22 PM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2008
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Coming late to this talk -- I have to say I've read Agnes Grey and liked it very much.  It's a quieter novel, without the storm & passion of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre - more realistic, less romantic.    But filled with sharp characterizations. 

Subject: I just put it on my ebook reader
Date Posted: 6/9/2008 12:15 PM ET
Member Since: 3/22/2008
Posts: 352
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You can read a lot of the bronte stuff at project gutenburg and if you have the ebook reader from fictionwise you can convert the html or plain text and put it on the ebook reader. I love doing that to read the old classics that are too moldy in the library to read


Date Posted: 8/16/2008 3:05 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2008
Posts: 123
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Ooh, I love Agnes Grey! I have read all of the Bronte novels, and they are all simply wonderful! Emily is more dark and passionate, Charlotte is less so, but still has the spooky aspect in several of the stories, and is an amazing author. Anne is just very quiet and simple. Of course, if anyone picks up The Chronicles of Narnia and expects it to be like The Lord of the Rings,  they will be very disappointed, because the authors write in completely different styles. It is much the same with the Bronte books. Don't expect one to  be like another--just be ready for each novel to hands you its individual charms. That is my opinion.


Date Posted: 8/17/2008 10:04 PM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2008
Posts: 149
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Read it, loved it.  Reading it again soon.