Anne Brontë wrote these two fantastically successful novels just before her tragically early death, both of them in a much more grittily realistic mode than the more romantic ones favored by her sisters. Agnes Grey, the story of a governess working for disdainful and cruel employers, is a wrenching account of the desperate straits faced by Victorian women without money or husband. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall tells a story that was shocking for its time: a woman leaves her alcoholic and abusive husband in order to protect their young son and must live in hiding to prevent the law from taking her child away from her. These novels have become classics not only by dint of the subtle and ironic force of Anne Brontë's prose but because of the passionate indictments of social injustice that animate them.
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