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Oxford University Press, 2000 - Fiction - 538 pages
63 Reviews
'I am only just returned to a sense of the real world about me, for I have been reading Villette, a still more wonderful book than Jane Eyre.' George Eliot Lucy Snowe, in flight from an unhappy past, leaves England and finds work as a teacher in Madame Beck's school in 'Villette'. Strongly drawn to the fiery autocratic schoolmaster Monsieur Paul Emanuel, Lucy is compelled by Madame Beck's jealous interference to assert her right to love and be loved. Based in part on Charlotte Bronte's experience in Brussels ten years earlier, Villette (1853) is a cogent and dramatic exploration of a woman's response to the challenge of a constricting social environment. Its deployment of imagery comparable in power to that of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, and its use of comedy-ironic or exuberant-in the service of an ultimately sombre vision, make Villette especially appealing to the modern reader.

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User Review  - janerawoof - LibraryThing

Interesting to read the author's semi-autobiographical novel. The main character, Lucy Snowe, was such a contrast with Jane Eyre, her more famous literary "sister"; the latter was more straightforward ... Read full review

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User Review  - tess_schoolmarm - LibraryThing

I read where Villette was the ruination of Charlotte Bronte's career, and I can understand why. The story is disjointed and difficult to follow. It may be difficult to follow if one doesn't know a great deal of conversational French, as entire paragraphs are written in French. Just terrible! Read full review

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About the author (2000)

Tim Dolin is at University of Newcastle.

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