Villette [NOOK Book]

Overview

Villette is a novel by Charlotte Brontë, published in 1853. After an unspecified family disaster, protagonist Lucy Snowe travels to the fictional city of Villette to teach at an all-girls school where she is unwillingly pulled into both adventure and romance. The novel is celebrated not so much for its plot as its acute tracing of Lucy’s psychology, particularly Brontë’s use of Gothic doubling to represent externally what her protagonist is suffering internally.
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Villette

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Overview

Villette is a novel by Charlotte Brontë, published in 1853. After an unspecified family disaster, protagonist Lucy Snowe travels to the fictional city of Villette to teach at an all-girls school where she is unwillingly pulled into both adventure and romance. The novel is celebrated not so much for its plot as its acute tracing of Lucy’s psychology, particularly Brontë’s use of Gothic doubling to represent externally what her protagonist is suffering internally.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940148732426
  • Publisher: Tower Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/17/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Charlotte Brontë (April 21, 1816 – March 31, 1855) was an English novelist and the eldest of the three Brontë sisters whose novels have become enduring classics of English literature. Source: Wikipedia
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 109 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(32)

4 Star

(28)

3 Star

(25)

2 Star

(14)

1 Star

(10)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 113 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 25, 2011

    Not worth the time

    Kept waiting for it to get better. Heroine, Lucy, is very passive and submissive; she is very difficult to relate to. Not worth the time reading.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 7, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    An Excellent Novel

    I had the great pleasure of reading Villette (brought about due to my love for Jane Eyre). I must confess that at first I was slightly disappointed in the book. Lucy Snowe is a difficult character to relate to due to her aloofness, and her narration in comparison lacked the passion that was found in Jane Eyre. This said, over the course of the novel, I began to enjoy it immensely. Lucy Snowe as a character seemed to remain in the back of one's thoughts; however, through various events her "icy" nature seems to revert, and the true beauty of her character is revealed. The plot itself can be somewhat droll - it is the memoirs of Snowe's life, and it lacks vivacity in some points of the narration (becoming most interesting when the fiery Paul Emmanuel arrives). The ending leaves mixed feelings, but as a whole the novel is a joy to read and very satisfying. Brontë's writing is superb! Her style flows effortlessly, and the wit she uses in conversations between characters (especially Snowe and Emmanuel) is wonderful. Overall, the book is excellent, and is potentially the best of Charlotte's work. For fans looking for a repeat Jane Eyre, it will not happen, and that may cause disappointment. Still, I must highly recommend it, and encourage its readers to stay with the first hundred pages - it gets much better!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2002

    Bronte's best work

    I read this book because of Jane Eyre, but this book was ten times better than Jane Eyre ever will be. I finished reading it like a month ago, and yet i keep on thinking about it. the ending was strange, but undoubtably one of the best endings i've ever read. If you have any appreciation for outstanding literature, read this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2002

    Better than Jane Eyre

    I don't see why Jane Eyre is more popular than Villette. Jane E. is a good book but I think Villette is ten times better. It is my favorite book, although it is very confusing and slow at parts.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I've enjoyed many aspects of Villette but if I hadn't vowed to c

    I've enjoyed many aspects of Villette but if I hadn't vowed to complete and review it, I would probably have abandoned it partway through.

    I undertook to read Villette in the light of my passion for Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, my love of Charlotte's Jane Eyre and my enjoyment of Anne Bronte's Agnes Grey. (I'm generally fascinated by the Brontes.) However, the undertaking came after aborted attempts to read both Charlotte's The Professor and Anne's Tenant of Wildfell Hall. And I found Villette hard work (though ultimately worthwhile) for all the reasons that I abandoned the other two books.

    I guess it should be comforting to anybody who writes that great writers can have their lesser works. But, as a reader, you just want all their books to be as good as their best. So comparisons of Villette with Jane Eyre are unavoidable. What Villette has in common with Jane Eyre is that very immediate first person narrator. And Lucy Snowe is a vivid and strong narrator. She's also blessed with the moral superiority to be found in Jane Eyre. But Jane has, I think, a humility and vulnerability that Lucy doesn't really possess. Despite Lucy's emotional breakdown (the episode which, I believe, leads critics to suggest that Villette was influenced by CB's grief at the loss of her siblings), she remains –until the latter part of the novel– so coolly removed from the emotional problems of the other characters in the book (and so morally judgemental of them) as to alienate her from the reader. (In Jane Eyre, this doesn't happen.)

    I also have a problem with M. Paul as a hero – he's just so annoying and perverse for so much of the story! I couldn't see how any woman would be attracted to him. I struggled early in the book with the revelation that Dr John had been known to Lucy in her earlier life – if she'd recognised him why didn't she tell us?

    I enjoyed the final 100 pages much more than the rest of the book. There's an energy to the writing that's lacking earlier on and Lucy does appear more human towards the close of the narrative. However, 400 pages felt like a lot to wade through to achieve a state of fulfilment!

    Villette was Charlotte Bronte's final novel. Had it been a forerunner to Jane Eyre –had CB developed into a better writer through writing it– I would probably feel more resolved to my verdict on it. If you're interested in the Brontes it's worth reading Villette simply for the biographical insight it gives into Charlotte but otherwise I would sooner opt for another Nineteenth Century novel – there are so many great ones to choose from.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2011

    Nice read!

    I really loved this book all the way through!!! Aside from not speaking or reading any french (I was able to ask a friend if I was curious)it was wonderful! A really great love story with a happy ending. I really would love to have read more about the story, too bad it was written so long ago.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2008

    Sensitive and heartfelt, but disap. ending

    Of course there are parts that are captivating and delightfully written, but it is slow with long-winded sections that don't add much to the story line. It is a book written out of depression, everyone is happy except the heroine. In the end, after suffering with her through 456 pages the reader is even then denied an ultimate happiness. Yes, she has independence, but a life without love seems merely like a continuance of an existence in shadow.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2004

    wonderfully deep

    Villette is my favorite over Jane Eyre. I think Charlotte Bronte was an incridibly deep writer who has and is continuing to awe me by her novels. This book is GREAT and I recommend it to anyone young or old.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2004

    My all time favourite

    Villette is my all time favourite novel. The strength and independence of Lucy Snowe made this story wonderful and enjoyable and despite a lonely sad childhood in England was able to make a success in Villette and like many of us struggles between career, independence and romance but it did work out fine.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2003

    Villette is extremely eccentric

    the story of Lucy was esqusite. She reminded me of me. And made me want to write my own novel, I love Villette and recommend it to anyone who is deep and eccentric.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2003

    Treasure...

    I can't believe this book isn't more widely read! I thought it was marvelous. It is far more introspective and philisophical than Jane Eyre, but it is beautifully written. A true treasure.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2003

    this is the best true human story, the best written book that you will ever find!

    i am usually a speedy reader, but this book was so captivating i was forced to slw down and truly appreciate it. The book is about Lucy Snowe, a young woman out on her own, sworn to keep her feelings down-to not truly feel at all. But she does come in contact with things and people to incite her feelings, and the book is really about how she copes with being human. this book is a romance as well as a book about the human psyche. I recomend it to ANYONE.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2001

    Very Moving!

    As someone who has always named Jane Eyre as one of her favorite novels of all time - I have to admit I was surprised to see Villette - I had never heard of the novel, though it seems everyone has heard of Jane Eyre. I also admit that it moves slowly at times, but from the first page I loved the rich language, deep and unforgettable characters, and moving passages filled with passion and a masterful understanding of the English language. I became so involved I was sitting in my living room sobbing from joy and sadness! This is a must read for anyone who enjoys the Bronte sisters, Jane Austin, or any number of similar authors.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2000

    A beautiful and passionate novel

    While most people come to know Charlotte Bronte for Jane Eyre, Villette is arguably her most beautiful piece of work. Lucy Snowe lets us see her inner most sorrow and joy, her triumphs and her tribulations. While on the surface Lucy is only a poor and lonely school teacher in Villlette, France, we come to find what an incredible woman she is, frail, yet strong, a realist, yet a dreamer, lonely, yet a romantic. We feel the prescence of the eerie ghost nun, meet the shrewd Madame Beck, and shake at the temper and rages of M. Emanuel. Villette is deeply written, with all the beauty and passion of Charlotte Bronte

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2013

    Boring.

    Nothing much happened, just lots of talking and no action.

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  • Posted August 7, 2011

    Boring, dull, wishy-washy ol' Lucy Snowe

    I loved reading Jane Eyre, so I wanted to read some other Bronte works. This one was a real stinker, to say the least. Lucy's personality kind of grated on my nerves, but what really turned me away was the love/romance (or lack thereof). I don't like the kind nor degree of it. I am quite surprised by the hit-or-miss nature of Charlotte Bronte's works. Here's to hoping 'The Professor' is a hit.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2010

    Not nearly as good as I expected

    I have to say I'm writing this review while still in the 300's of 500+ pages. However, I have read enough to say that this book is not nearly as good as Jayne Eyre. It is sooooo very slow-moving and descriptive to the extent of confusion at times. Jane Eyre is one of my all-time favorites, and I wanted to read this book because of that. So far, I am greatly disappointed; but I will finish the book, for I am not a quitter. Let's hope something good pops up before the end of an uneventful, sluggish read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2007

    not worth it

    i read Jane Eyre first and when i heard that Villette was supposed to be even better, i was extremely eager to read it. the beginning was good, in the middle i began to roll my eyes at some of Lucy Snowe's antics and by the end i was so disappointed in how it all ended. not at all like her first book. if you enjoyed the innocence and happy ending of Jane Eyre than Villette is not the book for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2005

    a mature novel by Charlotte Bronte

    Comparably, Jane Eyre is a far more juvenile novel. From the elements of this book, the depth of feeling, and the main charater's extreme loneliness, one knows how Charlotte herself felt after so much loss in her personal life. The heroine, Lucy Snowe, struggles through her fear of rejection and loss to make a better life for herself. As tragic as the novel ends she is still better off than how she started. She has given herself a chance to love. She is more than an inoffensive shadow. Ultimately, she is independent. As she states earlier, the next best thing to happiness is independence and she certainly gains that. Lucy Snowe invites us to understand her story, to feel the way she feels, to look into ourselves and see the way we could be with her fears. This is the genius and the torment of a talented writer. In Jane Eyre Bronte did great things. In Villette, far greater.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2004

    What A Wretched Book

    Villete tugs on the heartstrings and yet one cannot help feeling very sad for the narrator because she is so perverse to happiness. She's quite incomprehensible; however, the end of the novel one wishes her life had been more fulfilling emotionally.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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