Drawing on her own experience, Anne Bronte charts the development of gentle Agnes and sympathetically depicts the harsh treatment she receives along the way. Leaving her idyllic home and close-knit family, Agnes arrives at the Bloomfields' residence, inside whose walls reign cruelty and neglect. Although faced -with tyrannical children and over-indulgent parents, the generosity of spirit and warm candour learnt from her own family never desert her. Agnes also remains firm in the Murray household, where she is used by the two disdainful young daughters for their own deceitful ends and where her chances of happiness are almost spoiled for her.
A deeply moving account, Agnes Grey seriously discusses the contempt and inhumanity shown towards the poor though educated woman of the Victorian age, whose only resource was to become a governess.