Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Tuesday Intro: Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë


I
THE PARSONAGE
All true histories contain instruction: though, in some, the treasure may be hard to find, and when found out, so trivial in quantity that the dry, shrivelled kernel scarcely compensates for the trouble of cracking the nut. Whether this be the case with my history or not, I am hardly competent to judge; I sometimes think it might prove useful to some, and entertaining to others, but the world may judge for itself: shielded by my own obscurity, and by the lapse of years, and a few fictitious names, I do not fear to venture, and will candidly lay before the public what I would not disclose to the most intimate friend.
Agnes Grey 
by Anne Brontë

My current read was chosen for me by the Classics Club Spin. I loved Anne Brontë's second novel, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, so decided to add Agnes Grey  to my Classics Club list, too. The novel was published in 1847 and deals with the author's experiences as a governess. I'm approaching this as a read/listen combination... a surprise to no one, I'm sure.  I "purchased" the free kindle edition from amazon, and that entitled me to a reduced-price audio from audible - only $3.95!

I've read or listened to just over a third of the novel so far. It's not quite as good as Tenant (yet), but I am enjoying it.  Between Agnes Grey  and my recent viewing of the Charlotte Brontë exhibit at The Morgan Library & Museum, I have been inspired to finally pick up The Brontës: Wild Genius on the Moors by Juliet Barker, a book that has been on my shelf for years.

Here is the goodreads summary:
At age 19 Anne Brontë left home and worked as a governess for a few years before becoming a writer. Agnes Grey was an 1847 novel based on her experience as a governess. Bronte depicts the precarious position of a governess and how that can affect a young woman. Agnes was the daughter of a minister whose family was in financial difficulty. She has only a few choices for employment. Agnes experiences the difficulty of reining in spoiled children and how wealth can corrupt morals.
What do you think? Would you continue reading?


Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.



34 comments:

  1. I've never read this one but from the intro I'd like to try it.

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    1. Diane - I've never been able to figure out why Anne is the lesser Bronte.

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  2. I haven't read this one either. But I definitely give it a go.

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    1. BethF - Eventually, I'll work my way through all the Brontes.

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  3. Typical me ... I've never read the Brontes (and have never really be drawn to them) but I did greatly enjoy the Charlotte Bronte biography I read last spring. I had noticed the group biography at the library, so I'll look forward to hearing about it (and hopefully reading it sometime!)

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    1. Audrey - The Barker biography is even thicker than the Trollope. Wonder which one I'll finish first ;-)

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    2. The same question might, ahem, apply to me :)

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    3. Audrey - You have no idea how happy that comment makes me! I am constantly embarrassed by the number of literary biographies on my shelf with bookmarks in the middle. The only one I have ever read straight through like a novel was Blake Bailey's bio of Richard Yates, A Tragic Honesty. Without a doubt my favorite literary biography! Have you ever read Yates? He's probably not be your style...

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  4. I've never read Anne Bronte! How did that happen? I am curious, though, and thanks for sharing. Also...thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - I think even among Bronte fans, not as many people read Anne.

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  5. I love the writing. That is so amazingly taut and precise it totally grabs me. Have to have it! Here's the link to my Tuesday intro and teaser: http://wp.me/p4DMf0-1i9

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    1. Ms. M. - I like it, too. Something about those Brontes ;-)

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  6. I love the writing in the opening and totally agree that some mystery novels "barely compensate for the trouble of cracking the nut." Although I've never read Anne Bronte, I think I'd enjoy her writing.
    Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog today.
    Sandy @ TEXAS TWANG

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    1. Sandra - Isn't that a great line? Something to chew on from the very first sentence.

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  7. I've enjoyed reading of your enjoyment of the Brontes. I'll admit to never reading a book by Anne Bronte, but I like the sound of this one. I think it's the governess angle. Keep enjoying it.

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    1. Margot - The governess angle gets me every time, too!

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  8. I haven't read anything by Anne Bronte, but I really should. I love Charlotte's work. I wasn't as impressed with Emily's, admittedly.

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    1. Wendy - I really want to reread Jane Eyre now. It's been a long time...

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  9. I would continue reading... I'm keen to read more of the Bronte sisters work. I've only read Jane Eyre by Charlotte! I hope you enjoy :-)

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    1. Jade - I started with Jane Eyre, too. Eventually I'll work my way through all the Bronte novels.

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  10. Of Anne Bronte's novels, I read Agnes Grey first and loved it. I thought it was a remarkable novel, despite those who find lots of fault with it. Perhaps I related so well because I was a live-in babysitter for 3 summers, and because I first started teaching in a town that was unwelcoming to newcomers. But whatever my experiences, I fully related to this book. Then, a year or two later, I read The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and loved that. How sad it is that the Bronte sisters died so young...
    Judith (Reader in the Wilderness)

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    1. Judith - I'm over halfway now and finding no fault! I cannot relate to her experiences as closely as you, but still feel a kinship with the narrator. Looking forward to reading more this evening!

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  11. I might try it although I'm not much of a classical reader.

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    1. Yvonne - Sometimes it takes a while to get used to the language in a classic, but I do enjoy them!

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  12. I just finished Wuthering Heights for the first time so you can say that I have the Bronte's on my mind.

    What a talented family they were. I have not read any of Anne's works so I am curious as to what you will think of this.

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    1. Brian Joseph - I just read Wuthering Heights for the first time five or six years ago and it was not at all what I was expecting... thought it was a romance,but ended up being much darker. Anne Bronte's second novel, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, has quite a feminist bent to it. Over halfway through Agnes Grey now and enjoying it very much. Think I may need to read all the Bronte novels!

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  13. I haven't read Agnes Grey - I must put it on my list

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    1. Cleo - It's surprisingly good so far!

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  14. I do need to go back to the Bronte sisters at some point. I've only read Jane Eyre and remember loving reading it.

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    1. Athira - I want to reread Jane Eyre now!

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  15. I've never read Anne Bronte, but I probably should give her a try. This one I would definitely keep reading. Thanks for visiting my Teaser this week!

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    1. Kym - I'm enjoying Agnes Grey very much. I think more readers should give Anne's work a try!

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  16. Isn't it funny how writing styles have changed so much? Hope you enjoy it.

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    1. Paulita - It really is! Funny how you can tell with just a few paragraphs when some books were written.

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