'Agnes Grey' is the debut novel of English author Anne Brontë (written under the pseudonym of Acton Bell). The novel follows Agnes Grey, a governess, as she works in several bourgeois families. The choice of central character allows Brontë to deal with issues of oppression and abuse of women and governesses, isolation and ideas of empathy. An additional theme is the fair treatment of animals. 'Agnes Grey' also mimics some of the stylistic approaches of bildungsromans, employing ideas of personal growth and coming to age, but representing a character who in fact does not gain in virtue.