Hello there. Hope you’re feeling well today.The last time I read a book by a Bronte it was Wuthering Heights. I remember where I finished it too. Outside Matalan in Cardiff in December. Wife and daughter was doing some clothes/Christmas shopping and I was lumbered in to carry everything back to the car. Regular readers will know I consider clothes shopping with [insert family female here] to be hell on Earth so I was happy enough to read the novel.
And I loved it.
So now I come many years later to Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte where she writes about the problems faced by a governess to privileged children having been forced to do this due to family financial problems.
And as I was reading this book it occurred to me that a governess is mainly a teacher and you would have thought that it would be quite easy. But no. She can’t seem to deal with these kids and spends a lot of the first half of the book moaning about it.
So if a teacher of thirty children in a class was reading it he/she would probably have thrown the book across the room in frustration. After all he/she would think what has she got to moan about?
Indeed away from her family and friends where she was brought up for the first half of the book she appears to be disliked by everyone whatever their social position. I therefore began to think that Agnes, as it’s written in the first person, perhaps it’s you.
Then halfway through the plot turns in a slightly different direction and you begin to start rooting for Aggy. That is until the end. When whilst you knew what the destination would be the route taken to get there is so contrived even Victorian readers would have probably shouted the equivalent of “Are you kidding me?!”
In conclusion then the question to be asked is whether this book would be remembered today if the author didn’t have “Bronte” in her name.
Let’s put it this way. She doesn’t even gain a first step to reach the heights of Wuthering.
Until the next time.