She was very obliging, quiet, peaceable in the main, but there were some things that put her out of temper; they did not much care for that, to be sure, but still, it was better to keep her in tune, as when she was in a good humour she would talk to them, and be very agreeable and amusing sometimes, in her way, which was quite different from mama’s, but still very well for a change. She had her own opinions on every subject, and kept steadily to them–very tiresome opinions they often were, as she was always thinking of what was right and what was wrong, and had a strange reverence for matters connected with Religion, and an unaccountable liking to good people.
–from Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte, 1847
I have found my truly beautiful-on-the-inside heroine. She is Agnes Grey. I still admire my old favorite heroine, Jane Eyre, but Agnes wins out on the spiritual side of characterization. I wanted to say, “I can’t believe I’ve never read anything by Anne Bronte before!” but I can believe it. God has a way of saving things for just the right time. In high school I needed Charlotte and Emily Bronte to instill passion and deep sympathies into my literary-loving life, passions which remain strong even today. And now I need their sister Anne to show me the appeal of patience and goodness.
If you’ve been following my blog for some time, you may remember my posts, Where Fiction Fails, and Revisited. I am happily changing my conclusion: Agnes Grey is the heroine who solves my problem. Fiction hasn’t failed after all.