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Villette by Charlotte Brontë
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Villette (1853)

by Charlotte Brontë

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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5,32076827 (3.91)2 / 364
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Showing 1-5 of 73 (next | show all)
While I enjoyed this book, it was a slow read. Unless you are fluent in French, I would recommend getting a version with translations in the footnotes. I read the first 150 pages without any and almost quit reading because I felt like I missed too much. Once I found a copy with translations, the book got vastly better. ( )
  bjh3038 | Aug 22, 2014 |
I'm a huge Jane Eyre fan so was looking forward to reading Villette. Unfortunately I really detested all of the characters and was slightly bored by most of the plot. I know that this is considered to be largely autobiographical, so I'll give it the benefit of the doubt that if I knew more about Bronte's life this may have been a more satisfying read. I did like the contrast between Lucy's (the main character and narrator) inner dialogue, which was highly dramatic and flowery, and the way the outside world viewed her, which was as a calm and sedate, almost boring person. ( )
  japaul22 | Jul 20, 2014 |
Wow. Just - wow. Jane will always be my favorite, but this really was amazing. I'll have to take some time to digest before I write more. ( )
  bookwormam | Jul 8, 2014 |
I wasn't sure about this - there didn't seem to be much of a story although it was an abridged audio. The relationship between Lucy Snowe and the other professor seemed to come from nowhere and like other readers the end seemed odd. I love Jane Eyre but this was disappointing. ( )
  infjsarah | Jun 28, 2014 |
I understood Lucy and her plight, from her loneliness and aloneness to her irrational impulse to get up and flee from what she wants. If not out loud, I was mentally coaxing her to "Just DO such-and-such! Go for it! Who cares what those other folks think? Who are they, anyway?"--all the while understanding why she wouldn't do as I coaxed and realizing the probability that, if I was in her position, I might not do as I coaxed either. (Ha! Show us ourselves, Brontë, and we'll accordingly see where and how we can become something better.)

I don't know if it was the author's intention to make anything "cute" about her characters, but her style of writing often breeds cuteness in the characters and their relations with one another. Lucy and M. Paul grow into such a cute pair, likely, I think, already stuck on each other long before they recognize it, or at least long before Lucy does.

Toward the end of the novel, I began reading in a passionate rush, the climax goading me forward faster than I moved through the majority of the story, even drawing an audible groan or something akin to a vindictive growl from me at one point (though I had to check it, since I was reading in a public place at the time.) Earlier details which could easily have been arbitrary turned out not to be, as a purpose was ultimately brought out of these details. Throughout the book, I was pleased by Brontë's ability to surprise me, to handle the character development, the plot, and the execution in ways I would not have foreseen. Sometimes I thought her choices strange; but then, who wants to read a book for which you can accurately predetermine every turn the plot will take and exactly how the characters will be in every respect? That wouldn't leave much of a need for the author's work or imagination--you could have just written the book yourself and saved the trouble of procuring it from elsewhere. Hence, the "strange" choices served to strengthen the book as a whole, and while I would have assumed there'd be a need for me to rate this book below Jane Eyre, now a favorite novel of mine that would be hard to match, saying this book didn't amaze me wouldn't be an accurate statement. I appreciate it differently than Brontë's most popular novel, but not unequally. A wonderful read! ( )
  NadineC.Keels | Apr 10, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 73 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (56 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Charlotte Brontëprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Haapanen-Tallgren, TyyniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
May, NadiaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosengarten, HerbertEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, MargaretEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weston, MandyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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My godmother lived in a handsome house in the clean and ancient town of Bretton.
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Book description
Friendless and poor, Lucy Snowe arrives in the great Belgian city of Villette, where the sophisticated, devious Madame Beck offers her a post in her girls' school. Though Lucy gradually wins the respect of the spoiled, unruly pupils and her suspicious fellow-teachers, she is adrift from her own culture and finds her solitude desolating. In a powerfully-evoked crisis during the summer vacation, she encounters friends from her childhood, John Bretton and his kindly mother, but her feeling for the charming Dr John have to be curbed when she discovers that his love is bestowed elsewhere. In exploring this crisis and her emergence from it, Charlotte Bronte produced possibly the first, and certainly one of the most important fictional accounts of a woman's emotional breakdown.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140434798, Paperback)

"I am only just returned to a sense of real wonder about me, for I have been reading Villette..." —George Eliot

With neither friends nor family, Lucy Snowe sets sail from England to find employment in a girls’ boarding school in the small town of Villette. There she struggles to retain her self-possession in the face of unruly pupils, an initially suspicious headmaster, and her own complex feelings, first for the school’s English doctor and then for the dictatorial professor, Paul Emmanuel. Charlotte Brontë’s last and most autobiographical novel is a powerfully moving study of isolation and the pain of unrequited love, narrated by a heroine determined to preserve an independent spirit in the face of adverse circumstances.

Villette draws on Brontë’s own unhappy experience as a governess in Brussels
New Introduction examines the novel's social and historical context and argues for its importance as an exploration of imperialism
Includes chronology, suggestions for further reading, and explanatory notes

 

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:29:26 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

With neither friends nor family, Lucy Snowe sets sail from England to find employment in a girls' boarding school in the small town of Villette. There she struggles to retain her self-possession in the face of unruly pupils, an initially suspicious headmaster and her own complex feelings.… (more)

» see all 18 descriptions

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Audible.com

Seventeen editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140434798, 0141199881

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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