What Do I Read Next?
Agnes Grey (1847) was Anne Brontë’s first novel and was probably inspired by her experience working as a governess. In this novel, the title character struggles to control and teach the undisciplined children of her wealthy employers.
Jane Eyre (1847), by Charlotte Brontë, is a famous English novel about a plain governess who captures the interest of her employer, Edward Rochester. But Rochester has a terrible secret.
Wuthering Heights (1847), by Emily Brontë, is a famous romantic story about Catherine Earnshaw and the interloper Heathcliff. They passionately love each other but differences in their social station prevent them from being together.
Pride and Prejudice (1813), by Jane Austen, is about the love and misunderstandings between Elizabeth Bennett and the wealthy Mr. Darcy. Austen was popular in her time and was a literary influence on the Brontës.
Oliver Twist (1837–1839), by Charles Dickens, tells the poignant tale of an orphaned boy who stumbles upon misfortune after misfortune before finally coming into happiness. Dickens focused his writing on the underprivileged, in contrast to many writers of his day.
The Awakening (1899), by Kate Chopin, is a slim novel about a smothered young wife and mother who casts off the constraints of her position as a southern socialite.
Best Poems of the Brontë Sisters (1997), edited by Candace Ward, is a Dover Thrift collection of ten poems by Charlotte, twenty-three poems by Emily, and fourteen poems by Anne. Emily is arguably the best—and most prolific—poet of the three. Anne was also a skilled poet, whereas Charlotte’s strength lay more in fiction writing.
A History of English Literature (2000), by Michael Alexander, is a lively and comprehensive examination of a rich literary tradition. Alexander includes a discussion of the ever-changing idea of which works are classics, including what the term classic means.