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By Charlotte Bronte, Helen Cooper (Edited by)

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Format: Paperback, 672 pages, Revised Edition
Published In: United Kingdom, 24 June 2004
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. Drawing on her own deeply unhappy experiences as a governess in Brussels, Charlotte BrontA"'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.

About the Author

Charlotte Bronte (1816-55), along with her sisters Anne and Emily, is among the greatest 19th century English novelists and author of Jane Eyre.Helen M. Cooper is Professor of English at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She is also the author of a number of books and articles.


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

EAN: 9780140434798
ISBN: 0140434798
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Dimensions: 19.71 x 13 x 3 centimetres (0.45 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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1 review(s)
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Customer on
In the edition I bought the Preface begins, "Villette is really two novels. If you want to read the first one, stop reading now and go straight to the novel." That's exactly what you should do. Skip any preface or introduction and dive in - you'll be glad you did.
When I stopped comparing Charlotte and Anne's work with Emily's, I was able to appreciate their books for what they are, not condemn them instantly for not being Wuthering Heights 2: Wuthering Harder. This is especially true for Villette. At first I didn't like it, near the middle I was bored, but by the end I was fascinated. The Preface was right - it really is two novels. The first has to do with a governess named Lucy Snowe and a town called Villette. The second - well, persevere, and by the end you'll be itching to have another go at the text.
Worth reading, worth buying and revisiting.

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