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Villette by Charlotte Bronte

Villette (original 1853; edition 1966)

by Charlotte Bronte

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5,54987778 (3.92)2 / 379
Authors:Charlotte Bronte
Info:Dent (An Everyman Paperback) (1966), Paperback, 468 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Main, Fiction

Work details

Villette by Charlotte Brontë (1853)


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English (82)  German (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Italian (1)  French (1)  All languages (87)
Showing 1-5 of 82 (next | show all)
"A sorrowful indifference to existence often pressed on me.",, 21 July 2015

This review is from: Villette (Penguin English Library) (Paperback)
Other reviews have delineated the storyline; I'm just going to say that I was within five pages of the end (on tenterhooks as to whether our narrator, Lucy Snowe, ends up with a happy or unutterably wretched life) when I had to stop and go to work. I was yearning to come home and find out all the time I was there - must be the proof of a compelling work.
Charlotte Bronte's descriptions of utter loneliness and inner, but hidden, torment make for a moving and unforgettable read. While her friends remark on "steady little Lucy...so quietly pleased, so little moved yet so content", she observes "little knew they the rack of pain which had driven Lucy almost into fever, and brought her out, guideless and reckless, urged and drugged to the brink of frenzy".
Superb read. ( )
  starbox | Jul 21, 2015 |
Look, Virginia Woolf called it Bronte's "finest novel," and George Eliot wrote, "Villette! Villette! Have you read it? It is a still more wonderful book than Jane Eyre. There is something almost preternatural in its power." I couldn't agree more. I was fortunate enough to read this is the first English course to get me hooked on 19th century British lit. We read it over the course of three weeks, so it was the perfect way to digest the magic of Villette. A love story that is far more rewarding than that of Jane Eyre (which I also love), Villette is a treasure.

( )
  Ginnywoolf | Mar 22, 2015 |
I'm a big fan of Jane Eyre, so this had been on my to-read list for a while. I'm glad I finally picked it up! I liked that the novel dwells so much on friendships; ultimately the romantic elements feel a bit like an afterthought or obligation, which is fairly unique for a novel from this time period. ( )
  okrysmastree | Feb 1, 2015 |
This is the story of a brave but judgmental woman who must make her own way in the world and does so by moving to "Villette" where she enters a boarding school, first as governess to the owner's children, and later as a teacher. The characters are rich and full (with the exception of one who is far too idealized), and many of the characters are so fascinating that I couldn't wait to see what they were going to do next. This story also has its gothic turns to add an extra bit of interest. ( )
  whymaggiemay | Jan 27, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 82 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (53 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brontë, Charlotteprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cooper, Helen M.Notessecondary authorsome 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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First words
My godmother lived in a handsome house in the clean and ancient town of Bretton.
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Wikipedia in English


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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:28 -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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 18 descriptions

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

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Penguin Australia

2 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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