Villette

Front Cover
Random House Publishing Group, May 1, 2007 - Fiction - 576 pages
52 Reviews

Left by harrowing circumstances to fend for herself in the great capital of a foreign country, Lucy Snowe, the narrator and heroine of Villette, achieves by degrees an authentic independence from both outer necessity and inward grief. Charlotte Brontė's last novel, published in 1853, has a dramatic force comparable to that of her other masterpiece, Jane Eyre, as well as strikingly modern psychological insight and a revolutionary understanding of human loneliness. With an introduction by Lucy Hughes-Hallet.

(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)




From the Hardcover edition.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - wealhtheowwylfing - LibraryThing

"I seemed to hold two lives--the life of thought, and that of reality; and, provided the former was nourished with a sufficiency of the strange necromantic joys of fancy, the privileges of the latter ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - baswood - LibraryThing

[Villette] by Charlotte Bronte It is hard to believe that Villette was published in 1853 and yet its style is so very reminiscent of its era. It reads like a Victorian novel but one with hardly any ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
8
Section 2
15
Section 3
45
Section 4
57
Section 5
93
Section 6
107
Section 7
158
Section 8
186
Section 16
325
Section 17
356
Section 18
370
Section 19
402
Section 20
411
Section 21
423
Section 22
436
Section 23
451

Section 9
203
Section 10
216
Section 11
238
Section 12
266
Section 13
280
Section 14
295
Section 15
309
Section 24
467
Section 25
492
Section 26
511
Section 27
526
Section 28
530
Section 29
532
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Emily Jane Brontė was the most solitary member of a unique, tightly-knit, English provincial family. Born in 1818, she shared the parsonage of the town of Haworth, Yorkshire, with her older sister, Charlotte, her brother, Branwell, her younger sister, Anne, and her father, The Reverend Patrick Brontė. All five were poets and writers; all but Branwell would publish at least one book.

Fantasy was the Brontė children’s one relief from the rigors of religion and the bleakness of life in an impoverished region. They invented a series of imaginary kingdoms and constructed a whole library of journals, stories, poems, and plays around their inhabitants. Emily’s special province was a kingdom she called Gondal, whose romantic heroes and exiles owed much to the poems of Byron.

Brief stays at several boarding schools were the sum of her experiences outside Haworth until 1842, when she entered a school in Brussels with her sister Charlotte. After a year of study and teaching there, they felt qualified to announce the opening of a school in their own home, but could not attract a single pupil.

In 1845 Charlotte Brontė came across a manuscript volume of her sister’s poems. She knew at once, she later wrote, that they were “not at all like poetry women generally write…they had a peculiar music–wild, melancholy, and elevating.” At her sister’s urging, Emily’s poems, along with Anne’s and Charlotte’s, were published pseudonymously in 1846. An almost complete silence greeted this volume, but the three sisters, buoyed by the fact of publication, immediately began to write novels. Emily’s effort was Wuthering Heights; appearing in 1847 it was treated at first as a lesser work by Charlotte, whose Jane Eyre had already been published to great acclaim. Emily Brontė’s name did not emerge from behind her pseudonym of Ellis Bell until the second edition of her novel appeared in 1850.

In the meantime, tragedy had struck the Brontė family. In September of 1848 Branwell had succumbed to a life of dissipation. By December, after a brief illness, Emily too was dead; her sister Anne would die the next year. Wuthering Heights, Emily’s only novel, was just beginning to be understood as the wild and singular work of genius that it is. “Stronger than a man,” wrote Charlotte, “Simpler than a child, her nature stood alone.”

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