''Agnes Grey'' is a 1847 novel written by Anne Brontë, the least well-known Brontë sister. Her first novel, it told the story of her own experience as a governess. The main character, Agnes, is the daughter of a minister who loses his money. She gets one of the only jobs available to women at the time, being a governess for rich families. The book recounts realistically what a governess had to put up with at the time.
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!!Tropes related to the book:

* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: Rosalie admits part of what draws her to Sir Thomas Ashby is that he is "wicked."
* AsTheGoodBookSays: Since Agnes is the daughter of a pastor who falls in love with a clergyman, Bible quotes come up a ''lot''. Characters who use them well are shown to be very moral, pious, and studious. Characters who misquote passages are shown to be shallow, ignorant, hypocritical, and/or amoral.
* AttentionWhore: Rosalie Murray.
* AuthorityInNameOnly: Agnes learns the hardest part of being a governess is she's expected to educate unruly, hedonistic, disobedient children, but is not allowed to actually discipline them if they ignore her or their studies.
* BadPeopleAbuseAnimals: Anne Bronte is ''not'' subtle about holding this view. Only cruel and unsympathetic characters mistreat animals, while kind and sympathetic characters are always pointedly shown to be kind to them instead.
* BeautyEqualsGoodness: Agnes ponders this trope a lot.
* BitchInSheepsClothing: The Bloomsfield's younger daughter and the Murray's youngest son act like perfect angels to their parents but little monsters to Agnes, and often get her in trouble by pretending she abused them to their parents.
* {{Bratty Half Pint}}s: The Bloomsfield children, naturally.
* BrilliantButLazy: Agnes internally laments that Tom Bloomsfield and Rosalie Murray are very quick, clever students when they put their minds to it, but prefer hedonistic indulgences instead.
* CharacterTitle: No two guesses who the main character is.
* CreepyChild: Tom Bloomfield loves torturing baby birds and small animals... and then his parents get mad at Agnes for interfering with their son's fun!
* DesperatelyLookingForAPurposeInLife: Agnes. She's the baby of her family, and so sheltered by her well-meaning but somewhat condescending mother and older sister that she longs to see the world and test her abilities. She becomes a governess hoping to find meaning by teaching children.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: Rosalie Murray prevents Agnes from seeing her PrinceCharming Mr. Weston by giving her too much work to do.
** Rosalie Murray also despises [[spoiler:her own daughter]] because she knows by the time the girl grows up she will eclipse her as the FairestOfThemAll.
* EmotionlessGirl: Agnes ''has'' to become this in order to survive being in charge of the 3 sociopathic Bloomfield children.
* FallenPrincess: Agnes's mother; possibly a RebelliousPrincess since she fell of her own free will in order to marry her husband.
* FemaleMisogynist: Rosalie Murray is not subtle about seeing most women as obstacles for the endless male attention she craves. She also hates [[spoiler:her own daughter]] for not being born a boy. (Partly because she knows [[spoiler:her daughter]] will eclipse her beauty and male attention when she grows older, which Rosalie is ''already'' jealous of.)
* FriendToAllLivingThings: Agnes Grey, in spades. Part of what draws her to Mr. Weston is his kindness to animals too.
* GoldDigger: Following her materialistic mother's advice, Rosalie Murray marries [[spoiler:Sir Thomas Ashby]] for his money and title. [[AwfulWeddedLife This backfires on her spectacularly.]]
* HairTriggerTemper: Mr. Bloomsfield yells and swears over every little thing. Even asking his wife what kind of fish she ordered for dinner and her not being able to provide a specific answer sets him off.
* TheHedonist: Tom Bloomfield is a young, violent version; Rosalie Murray is an older, more devious version. Rich, aloof parents in general seem determined to raise their children to be this by never disciplining them and refusing to permit anyone else to.
* HeirClubForMen: Half the reason [[spoiler:Sir Thomas Ashby and Rosalie Murray]] are disappointed to have a daughter.
* HiddenDepths: For all Rosalie's vanity, frivolity, and heartless coquetry, deep inside there is a brilliant young woman who is capable of real empathy, affection, and even love; which frustrates Agnes all the more that her mother encouraged her vices so they overtook her character.
* HopelessSuitor: [[spoiler:Mr. Hatfield]] for Rosalie Murray.
* {{Hurting Hero}}ine: Poor Agnes. She has to put up ''a lot'' as governess.
* {{Hypocrite}}: Mr. Hatfield, the Horton rector.
* IdleRich: Pretty much every family Agnes works for.
* InherentInTheSystem: Most rich children grow up to be hedonistic, amoral twits because their rich parents hire social inferiors to raise and educate them, then encourage their children to disrespect their nurses and governesses as social inferiors, refuse to discipline them when they slack off in their studies but won't let anyone else do it either, and thus ensure their kids grow up to be just as spoiled, ignorant, and amoral as them to continue the cycle.
* KidsAreCruel: Contrary to how children were depicted in literature at the time, Anne Bronte pulls no punches exposing how horrible children can be from her time as a governess.
* KickTheDog: We know Mr. Hatfield is no truly pious Christian because he kicks Nancy's cat and Agnes' dog. Mr. Weston, on the other hand, treats said cat and dog quite tenderly and even rescues each of them once.
* LackOfEmpathy: Literally every rich person Agnes has the displeasure to work for or be acquainted with.
* TheLadette: Matilda Murray, which, needless to say given the setting, does not go over well for her.
* LikeGoesWithLike: Agnes is drawn to Mr. Weston because they are both kind, humble, pious, average-looking people who love animals. [[spoiler:He returns her affections.]]
* LoveHurts: Agnes to Mr. Weston, when it seems clear to her he'll never return her affections. [[spoiler:She's later proven wrong.]]
* [[ManipulativeBastard Manipulative Bitch]]: Rosalie Murray, bordering on TheVamp.
* MarryForLove: Agnes tries to get Rosalie Murray to accept this; she fails.
* MercyKill: Agnes is forced to crush a nest of baby birds with a large stone to save them from being tortured for hours on end by Tom Bloomsfield. It devastates her, to say the least.
* MrViceGuy: Pretty much every rich man Agnes encounters, to some degree. Sir Thomas Ashby is especially notorious for his "wicked" ways (drinking, gambling, womanizing, etc), but [[spoiler:Rosalie Murray]] marries him thinking she can change him. [[spoiler:When RealityEnsues, she is miserable indeed.]]
* NeverMyFault: The Bloomsfields refuse to discipline their unruly, sociopathic children (and refuse to let Agnes do it either), but then blame Agnes when they fall behind in their studies.
** Matilda Murry says this almost verbatim when called out for swearing and blaspheming so much. She always retorts that it's not her fault, blame ''father'' for teaching her.
* NiceToTheWaiter: Mr. Weston doesn't treat Agnes like she's invisible just because she's a governess.
* NoAccountingForTaste: Rosalie Murray's marriage to [[spoiler:Sir Thomas Ashby]].
* NouveauRiche: The Bloomsfields are tradespeople who gained wealth through mercantile success, rather than inheriting it like the Murrays.
* OddFriendship: Or rather, the closest thing to friendship someone like Rosalie Murray can have with her governess. Agnes finds she likes Rosalie despite her thoughtless vanity, and Rosalie often confides in Agnes because of how honest and dependable she is.
* OnlySaneWoman: Agnes. ''Frequently''.
* ParentalMarriageVeto: The backstory and a running plot thread: when Agnes's mother chose to marry a poor parson, she was disowned by her father. Despite annual visits with her daughters to her childhood home, they never even saw him.
* ThePollyanna: Agnes keeps her pluckiness through the entire book, despite all the crap she puts up with.
* RealityEnsues: Rosalie Murray marries [[spoiler:Sir Thomas Ashby]] for his title and money, thinking his horrible personality and looks are no big deal and she'll be able to reform him anyway. Within a few years she's thoroughly miserable in her AwfulWeddedLife.
* RealityIsUnrealistic: The preface for her second novel (''Literature/TheTenantOfWildfellHall'') mentions that "...the story of ‘Agnes Grey’ was accused of extravagant over-colouring in those very parts that were carefully copied from the life, with a most scrupulous avoidance of all exaggeration..."
* RichBitch: Rosalie Murray -- how else would you describe a girl who has every man in town except one wrapped around her finger, and not only determines to make that one want her despite not caring the least bit about him, but deliberately strives to keep a girl she knows has genuine feelings for him from getting to see him?
* SamaritanRelationshipStarter: Agnes hears a lot of good things about Mr. Weston, but the first time she really meets him is just after rescuing Nancy's cat from getting killed by the gameskeeper. He stumbled upon said cat because he was his way to visiting Nancy to check in on her due to her poor health and read the bible to her to lift her spirits. This is, incidentally, when Agnes first develops feelings for him.
* TheScapegoat: Unruly children falling behind in their studies because they refuse to learn and their parents refuse to discipline them or let anyone else do it? Blame the governess!
* ScrewTheMoneyIHaveRules: After Mr. Grey's death, his wife receives a letter from her father telling her she can come back and her daughters will be heiresses if she will just say that she regrets marrying. All three Grey women (she would have done it had her daughters wanted the money) tell him to go to hell.
* SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan: Agnes Grey is drawn to the rather rough and solemn-looking Edward Weston because he's very kind, studious, and pious. Her older sister Mary similarly falls in love with and marries a kind, studious pastor (much to Rosalie's disgust).
* SirSwearsALot: Mr. Bloomsfield and Mr. Murray both swear and blaspheme like crazy, which horrifies Agnes. Matilda Murray also picks up this habit from her father, much to her governess, mother, sister's chagrin.
* {{Spoiled Brat}}s: All of the children she ends up being a governess to.
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Matilda and Rosalie Murray.
* TroublingUnchildlikeBehavior: [[OnlySaneWoman Only Agnes]] sees something wrong with Tom Bloomsfield delighting in torturing small animals like baby birds.
* TrueBeautyIsOnTheInside: Agnes eventually reaches this conclusion.
* TwoWordsICantCount: Rosalie Murray describes Mr Weston negatively. Her animosity leads her to describe four negative traits instead of the three she announced. She corrects herself immediately after.
--> "I can give you his description in three words ... an insensate, ugly, stupid blockhead. That's four, but no matter..."
* UmbrellaOfTogetherness: Rosalie Murray thinks she has Mr. Weston wrapped around her finger as securely as every man in town, but Agnes is the one who he walks to the carriage with his umbrella.
* UnholyMatrimony: When it looks like Rosalie might be starting to fall for [[spoiler:Hatfield]], Agnes reflects that since they're both young, attractive, and fashionable but shallow, hypocritical, unkind people, they're perfectly suited for each other. [[spoiler:However, Rosalie breaks his heart and marries the [[MrViceGuy far worse]] Sir Thomas Ashby instead.]]
* AwfulWeddedLife: Rosalie Murray with [[spoiler:Sir Thomas Ashby]]. Anne Bronte later recycled this plot (with a much more sympathetic character) in ''Literature/TheTenantOfWildfellHall''.
* WhenHeSmiles: Mr. Weston is rather average and solemn-looking, but when he genuinely smiles Agnes finds it very warm and pleasant.
* WillTheyOrWontThey: Agnes and Edward Weston. [[spoiler: They do, after falling out of touch for a spell.]]

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