Agnes Grey

by Anne Brontë

Agnes Grey

Agnes Grey is Anne Bronte's story about a governess, similar to her sister's work Jane Eyre in that both novels explore the social issues that a Victorian governess not only observes but becomes involved with. Agnes Grey was Anne's first novel.

Source: Brontë, A. (1847). Agnes Grey. London: Smith Elder and Co.

Chapter I: The Parsonage
Agnes Grey narrates her family background and the circumstances that led to her employment as a governess.
Chapter II: First Lessons in the Art of Instruction
Agnes Grey meets the family for which she will be governess. The mistress and children are not quite what she expected.
Chapter III: A Few More Lessons
Agnes Grey details the challenges posed by her charges, and the strained relations she feels within the family. She rises to the challenge, determined to succeed.
Chapter IV: The Grandmamma
Agnes Grey details the behavior of the children, their father, and his mother. She laments the short vacation she was given to visit with her family, and finds understanding only in the nurse.
Chapter V: The Uncle
Agnes Grey describes the uncle and her reasons for disliking him. She relates the story of teaching Tom he can’t torture little birds. Mrs. Bloomfield makes a suprising announcement.
Chapter VI: The Parsonage Again
Agnes Grey spends time with her family, but finally determines to seek employment and try her hand at becoming a governess once more.
Chapter VII: Horton Lodge
Agnes Grey describes her new position and the family for whom she works.
Chapter VIII: The ‘Coming Out’
Miss Murray and Agnes Grey discuss the upcoming ball, family, and marriage.
Chapter IX: The Ball
The Murray girls tell Agnes Grey of the happenings while she was with family. Rosalie shows herself to be rather vain.
Chapter X: The Church
The ladies attend church. Agnes shares her views on the preaching of Hatfield and Weston.
Chapter XI: The Cottagers
Agnes Grey tells of visiting the poor cottagers. While on a visit, she learns more of Mr. Weston.
Chapter XII: The Shower
Agnes Grey visits Nancy Brown and has a chance to meet with Mr. Weston. Matilda scolds her for leaving.
Chapter XIII: The Primroses
The ladies frequent church, for varying reasons. Agnes Grey meets with Mr. Weson again, which leads to teasing from the Murray girls.
Chapter XIV: The Rector
Agnes Grey tries to supervise Miss Murray in her visits with the rector. She discovers the true depth of their relationship.
Chapter XV: The Walk
Miss Murray finds herself looking for a new source of entertainment. She and Agnes Grey go into town and meet with Mr. Weston.
Chapter XVI: The Substitution
Rosalie decides to take on a new conquest, but Agnes Grey feels somewhat less anxiety about the result.
Chapter XVII: Confessions
Agnes Grey details her confessions, and the wishes she hides in her heart.
Chapter XVIII: Mirth and Mourning
Rosalie is wed, and Agnes Grey and Matilda are left to entertain themselves. Agnes Grey finds that she is called home earlier than expected.
Chapter XIX: The Letter
The Grey ladies are concerned about what steps to take to secure their future. A letter arrives from the long lost grandfather, and a response is sent.
Chapter XX: The Farewell
Agnes Grey returns to Horton House, and prepares herself for the idea of never more seeing Mr. Weston.
Chapter XXI: The School
Agnes Grey tries to convince herself to abandon thoughts of hope regarding Mr. Weston. A letter arrives from Rosalie.
Chapter XXII: The Visit
Agnes Grey pays her visit to Ashby Park.
Chapter XXIII: The Park
Rosalie reveals her feelings about life and marriage.
Chapter XXIV: The Sands
A walk on the beach brings Agnes new hope.
Chapter XXV: Conclusion
Agnes arranges a meeting between her mother and Mr. Weston. She finds out the true meaning behind his visits.
  • Year Published: 1847
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: England
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 9.5
  • Word Count: 72,982
  • Genre: Romance
  • Keywords: governess, satire, victorian
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