Drawing on her own experiences, Anne Bronte wrote her first novel out of an urgent need to inform her contemporries about the desperate position of unmarried, educated women driven to take up the only "respectable" career open to them--that of a governess. Struggling with the monstrous Bloomfield children and then disdained in the superior Murray household, Agnes tells a story that is at once a compelling inside view of Victorian chauvinism and ruthless materialism and, according to George Moore, "the most perfect prose narrative in English literature."
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