Free and Discounted Ebooks
Join 130,000 readers! Get our ebook deals straight to your inbox.

Villette

Cover image for

Download


Published: 1853
Language: English
Wordcount: 194,400 / 561 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 63.9
LoC Category: PR
Downloads: 2,166
Added to site: 2010.08.24
mnybks.net#: 28786
Origin: gutenberg.org
Excerpt

d her infant visage. She seemed growing old and unearthly. I, Lucy Snowe, plead guiltless of that curse, an overheated and discursive imagination; but whenever, opening a room-door, I found her seated in a corner alone, her head in her pigmy hand, that room seemed to me not inhabited, but haunted.

And again, when of moonlight nights, on waking, I beheld her figure, white and conspicuous in its night-dress, kneeling upright in bed, and praying like some Catholic or Methodist enthusiast--some precocious fanatic or untimely saint--I scarcely know what thoughts I had; but they ran risk of being hardly more rational and healthy than that child's mind must have been.

I seldom caught a word of her prayers, for they were whispered low: sometimes, indeed, they were not whispered at all, but put up unuttered; such rare sentences as reached my ear still bore the burden, "Papa; my dear papa!" This, I perceived, was a one-idea'd nature; betraying that monomaniac tendency I have ever thought the most unfortun

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 4 from 1 reviews: ****
2015.11.17
Leah A. Zeldes
****.

Arguably the best of Charlotte Brontė's novels, the bittersweet story of young-but-middle-aged, orphaned, taciturn Lucy Snowe has much to recommend it, but readers get what they bring to it.

When Lucy daringly leaves her native Britain for Villette, France, and, almost accidentally, enlists as a resident English teacher at a boarding school, does she become all that's in her to be? How much of herself does she conceal from the reader? Is the ambiguous conclusion sad or hopeful?

It's the reader's choice.

The ardent and optimistic will find it a happier story than the cynic or pessimist. When I first read the novel as a young woman, I came to different conclusions than I did on my recent rereading. It occurs to me now that 20th-century novelist Barbara Pym must have found much inspiration in "Villette" for the wry, introspective and quietly yearning spinsters who populate her fiction.

Plot aside, Brontė's prose is powerful and purposeful. It must be said, however, that at least a rudimentary knowledge of French is required to understand a good part of the dialogue, which may explain, somewhat, why this novel is so much less well-known than Brontė's earlier "Jane Eyre."


SUBSCRIBE TO MANYBOOKS 

FREE EBOOKS 

Join 120,000+ fellow readers! Get Free eBooks and book bargains from ManyBooks in your inbox. 

We respect your email privacy

(advanced)
login | register

User ID

Password

reset password

Author of the Day

W. L. Liberman
W.L. Liberman is a man with many talents. He has published nine novels, five graphic novels and a childrenā€™s storybook. Liberman is also the founding editor and publisher of TEACH Magazine; www.teachmag.com, and has worked as a television producer and on-air commentator. As our author of the day, Liberman reveals the inspiration behind Looking for Henry Turner, why he has a soft spot for the 1960s and talks about why family ties and loyalty to friends are so important in life.
Read full interview...