Cover image for


Published: 1853
Language: English
Wordcount: 194,400 / 561 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 63.9
LoC Category: PR
Downloads: 1,846
Added to site: 2010.08.24 28786

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


Average Rating of 4 from 1 reviews: ****
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."

(Promote your book here)

Featured Books

Cover image for Villette by Charlotte Brontė - Free eBook

Rise of The Iron Eagle

The Iron Eagle Series Book 1
Roy A. Teel Jr.

Is The Iron Eagle a psychotic serial killer?Read more

Cover image for Villette by Charlotte Brontė - Free eBook


True Alpha 1
Alisa Woods

Shifters in Seattle – Desired (True Alpha 1) Ne... Read more

Cover image for Villette by Charlotte Brontė - Free eBook

Open Minds

Mindjack Saga Book 1
Susan Kaye Quinn

When everyone reads minds, a secret is a danger... Read more

Cover image for Villette by Charlotte Brontė - Free eBook

XGeneration 1

You Don't Know Me (XGeneration Series)
Brad Magnarella

In the fall of 1984, Cold War tensions between... Read more

Cover image for Villette by Charlotte Brontė - Free eBook

Drive, Ride, Repeat

The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure
Al Macy

Author Al Macy is a character and a tightwad wi... Read more

Cover image for Villette by Charlotte Brontė - Free eBook

I Bring the Fire

Part I: Wolves (A Loki Story)
C. Gockel

In the middle of America, Amy Lewis is on her way... Read more

login | register

User ID


reset password

Help ManyBooks by sharing this page!

See it as donating a moment of your social media time, every little thing helps us improve and stay online.

Popular in This Genre

The list of books below is based on the weekly downloads by our users regardless of eReader device or file format.

Anne of Green Gables
by Lucy Maud Montgomery
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
by Arthur Conan Doyle
by Théophile Gautier
The Arabian Nights
by Andrew Lang
The Prince
by Nicolo Machiavelli
The Secret Adversary
by Agatha Christie
Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen
North and South
by Elizabeth Gaskell
Tess of the d'Urbervilles
by Thomas Hardy

See more popular titles from this genre.