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  • Published: 6 May 2014
  • ISBN: 9780451465443
  • Imprint: Signet
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 608
  • RRP: $9.99

Villette



Fleeing an unhappy past in England, penniless Lucy Snowe starts life anew at a boarding school in cosmopolitan Villette, a stand-in for Brussels. The mystery, jealousy, and love that she finds there give Charlotte Brontë’s final novel much of the Gothic tone and psychological incisiveness that prompted George Eliot, Virginia Woolf, and others to call Villette her finest work. Based on Brontë’s own experiences in Brussels and her attachment to a brilliant teacher with a strong and eccentric personality, this superb romantic novel is an exceptional example of how a great writer transforms the ordinary events of her life into vivid and exciting art. Villette represents the inimitable Brontë genius by giving us a masterful portrait of Lucy Snowe, who belongs beside the great nineteenth-century literary heroines—and who will strongly appeal to modern readers.With a New Introduction by Adriana Trigiani and an Afterword by Helen Benedict

  • Published: 6 May 2014
  • ISBN: 9780451465443
  • Imprint: Signet
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 608
  • RRP: $9.99

About the authors

Charlotte Bronte

Charlotte Bronte was born on 21 April 1816. Her father was curate of Haworth, Yorkshire, and her mother died when she was five years old, leaving five daughters and one son. In 1824 Charlotte, Maria, Elizabeth and Emily were sent to Cowan Bridge, a school for clergymen's daughters, where Maria and Elizabeth both caught tuberculosis and died. The children were taught at home from this point on and together they created vivid fantasy worlds which they explored in their writing. Charlotte worked as a teacher from 1835 to 1838 and then as a governess. In 1846, along with Emily and Anne, Charlotte published Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell.After this Emily wrote Wuthering Heights, Anne wrote Agnes Grey and Charlotte wrote The Professor. Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey were both published but Charlotte's novel was initially rejected. In 1847 Jane Eyre became her first published novel and met with immediate success. Between 1848 and 1849 Charlotte lost her remaining siblings: Emily, Branwell and Anne. She published Shirley in 1849, Villette in 1853 and in 1854 she married the Rev. Arthur Bell Nicholls. She died the next year, on 31 March 1855.

Charlotte Bronte was born at Thornton, Yorkshire, in 1816. Her mother died in 1821, and Charlotte, her four sisters, Maria, Elizabeth, Emily and Anne, and her brother Branwell were left in the care of their aunt, Elizabeth Branwell. Left to pursue their education mainly at home, all the Bronte children became involved in a rich fantasy life and Charlotte and Branwell collaborated in the invention of the imaginary kingdom of Angria. In 1824 Charlotte went with Maria, Elizabeth and Emily to a school for daughters of the clergy; her experiences there are fictionalized in the Lowood section of Jane Eyre (1847; written under the pseudonym of Currer Bell). She wrote three other novels, Shirey (1849) Vilette (1853) and She Professor (published posthumously in 1857). She also made occasional visits to London where she became known to various writers, including William Thackeray and Elizabeth Gaskell. In 1854 Charlotte finally overcame her father's objections and married, but unfortunately she was to die in the following year.

Praise for Villette

“Brontë’s finest novel.”—Virginia Woolf “A still more wonderful book than Jane Eyre.”—George Eliot

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