Read Along,  Show Notes

Episode 226: “Agnes Grey” by Anne Brontë, Ch. 12-18

Welcome back to The Literary Life Podcast and the continuation of our series on Anne Brontë’s Agnes Grey. Angelina and Thomas open with their commonplace quotes which lead into the book discussion. Angelina kicks it off with a comparison between the work of the Brontës and Jane Austen’s writing which will continue throughout the conversation. Thomas and Angelina also look at the expectations of Victorians for courtship and marriage, the ways Anne Brontë weaves this tale as a variation on other themes, the true woman versus the false woman, and more!

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Commonplace Quotes:

The ideal of education is that we should learn all that it concerns us to know, in order that thereby we may become all that it concerns us to be. In other words, the aim of education is the knowledge not of facts but of values. Values are facts apprehended in their relation to each other, and to ourselves. The wise man is he who knows the relative value of things.

William Ralph Inge, from The Church in the World

But while Emily Brontë was as unsociable as a storm at midnight, and while Charlotte Brontë was at best like that warmer and more domestic thing, a house on fire–they do connect themselves with the calm of George Eliot, as the forerunners of many later developments of the feminine advance. Many forerunners (if it comes to that) would have felt rather ill if they had seen the things they foreman. This notion of a hazy anticipation of after history has been absurdly overdone: as when men connect Chaucer with the Reformation; which is like connecting Homer with the Syracusan Expedition. But it is to some extent true that all these great Victorian women had a sort of unrest in their souls. And the proof of it is that… it began to be admitted by the great Victorian men.

G. K. Chesterton, The Victorian Age in Literature

The Recommendation

By Richard Crashaw

These houres, and that which hovers o’re my End,  
Into thy hands, and hart, lord, I commend.

Take Both to Thine Account, that I and mine
In that Hour, and in these, may be all thine.

That as I dedicate my devoutest Breath
To make a kind of Life for my lord’s Death,

So from his living, and life-giving Death,
My dying Life may draw a new, and never fleeting Breath.

Book List:

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Emma by Jane Austen

Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare

The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

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