Agnes Grey – Agnes Grey revolves around a family that becomes impoverished after a financial breakdown. The central character in the novel is Agnes Grey, who is determined to find work as a governess and help her family by working her way out. The storyline portrays the hurdles that Agnes faces because of the unmanageable Bloomfield children and again due to the apathy of the arrogant Murray family. The only person with any good will is Mr Weston. She is neither a member of the family nor a servant and faces much difficulty in her job as a governess.This book shows the desperation of unmarried, educated women to whom becoming a governess was the only respectable career in Victorian society.
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall– The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848) was considered quite controversial at the time due to its focus on issues of feminism and marital abuse. When the reclusive widow Helen Graham and her son take up residence in an old mansion, she becomes the unwilling subject of her neighbours’ scrutiny. As Helen tries to escape her difficult past, complications arise when young farmer Gilbert Markham falls in love with her. The novel has been adapted extensively across film, television, radio and theatre.”
Jane Eyre – With her 1847 novel, Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë created one of the most unforgettable heroines of all time. Jane Eyre is an orphan, penniless and plain, but full of courage and spirit. She has endured incredible hardship to secure her humble status as a governess in the household of her brooding employer, Mr. Rochester. Jane’s sharp wit and defiant nature meet with Rochester’s sardonic temperament. The two become enmeshed in a deep, intense bond. But Rochester has a terrible secret—a remnant from his past that could threaten any hope of happiness with his only love. An unconventional love story that broadened the scope of romantic fiction, Jane Eyre is ultimately the tale of one woman’s fight to claim her independence and self-respect in a society that has no place for her.
The Professor – The Professor (1857) was Charlotte Brontë’s first and least regarded novel, rejected by all publishers during her lifetime and published posthumously by her widower A. B. Nicholls. Charlotte herself defended the novel passionately. “I said to myself that my hero should work his way through life as I had seen real living men work theirs — that he should never get a shilling he had not earned.” Indeed, William Crimsworth, the hero, is the self-made master of all his life’s ambiguous fortune, including his career as a professor in Brussels, and his true love. Whatever the comparisons to Charlotte Brontë’s other, more popular novels, The Professor deserves a closer examination and a new reader perspective.
Shirley – Struggling manufacturer Robert Moore has introduced labour saving machinery to his Yorkshire mill, arousing a ferment of unemployment and discontent among his workers. Robert considers marriage to the wealthy and independent Shirley Keeldar to solve his financial woes, yet his heart lies with his cousin Caroline, who, bored and desperate, lives as a dependent in her uncle’s home with no prospect of a career. Shirley, meanwhile, is in love with Robert’s brother, an impoverished tutor – a match opposed by her family. As industrial unrest builds to a potentially fatal pitch, can the four be reconciled? Set during the Napoleonic wars at a time of national economic struggles, Shirley (1849) is an unsentimental, yet passionate depiction of conflict between classes, sexes and generations.
Villette – With neither friends nor family, Lucy Snowe sets sail from England to find employment in a girls’ boarding school in the small town of Villette. There she struggles to retain her self-possession in the face of unruly pupils, an initially suspicious headmaster and her own complex feelings, first for the school’s English doctor and then for the dictatorial professor Paul Emmanuel. Drawing on her own deeply unhappy experiences as a governess in Brussels, Charlotte Brontë’s last and most autobiographical novel is a powerfully moving study of isolation and the pain of unrequited love, narrated by a heroine determined to preserve an independent spirit in the face of adverse circumstances.
Wuthering Heights – Published a year before her death, Wuthering Heights (1847) is Emily Bronte’s only novel. Heathcliff, a dark and mysterious child of unknown parentage, is rescued from the streets of Liverpool by Mr Earnshaw and brought to his home to be reared with his children. There he meets Earnshaw’s daughter, the volatile and passionate Catherine and so is born one of the most legendary love stories in English literature. Set in the wild moors of Yorkshire, Wuthering Heights, known for its astonishing intensity and rugged power, is considered to be one of the greatest literary works of all time.
This Set Includes:
– Agnes Grey
– The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
– Jane Eyre
– The Professor
– Wuthering Heights