Villette by Charlotte Bronte

Villette - Helen Cooper, Charlotte Brontë

TITLE:  Villette


AUTHOR:  Charlotte Bronte



"Villette is Charlotte Brontë's powerful autobiographical novel of one woman's search for true love, edited with an introduction by Helen M. Cooper in Penguin Classics.

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, the hostility of headmistress Madame Beck, and her own complex feelings - first for the school's English doctor and then for the dictatorial professor Paul Emanuel. Drawing on her own deeply unhappy experiences as a governess in Brussels, Charlotte Brontë's autobiographical novel, the last published during her lifetime, is a powerfully moving study of loneliness and isolation, and the pain of unrequited love, narrated by a heroine determined to preserve an independent spirit in the face of adverse circumstances.

Helen M. Cooper's new introduction places the novel in the context of Brontë's life and career and argues for the importance of the novel as an exploration of imperialism.




This isn't the usual type of novel I read, but I enjoyed it anyway.  It was some what slow, but the language was delightful (except the French bits - they were annoying) and the characters intriguing.  This book doesn't have your typical romance ending.  The notes at the back of this Penguin edition were very helpful.