Villette

Villette

by Charlotte Bronte

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Overview

When Lucy Snowe leaves England to look for a new life on the Continent she has no idea what lies in store for her. This quiet, lonely girl must learn quickly when she finds herself teaching in a foreign school, with no friends or family to rely on. However it's not long until figures from Lucy's past appear and she becomes involved in dilemmas which inspire new and passionate feelings in her.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781409077749
Publisher: Random House
Publication date: 10/06/2009
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 672
File size: 979 KB

About the Author





Charlotte Brontë (21 April 1816 - 31 March 1855) was an English novelist and poet, the eldest of the three Brontë sisters who survived into adulthood and whose novels have become classics of English literature. She first published her works (including her best known novel, Jane Eyre) under the pen name Currer Bell.




Charlotte was born in Thornton, west of Bradford in the West Riding of Yorkshire, in 1816, the third of the six children of Maria (née Branwell) and Patrick Brontë (formerly surnamed Brunty or Prunty), an Irish Anglican clergyman.




In May 1846 Charlotte, Emily and Anne self-financed the publication of a joint collection of poems under their assumed names Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell. The pseudonyms veiled the sisters' gender while preserving their initials; thus Charlotte was Currer Bell. "Bell" was the middle name of Haworth's curate, Arthur Bell Nicholls whom Charlotte later married, and "Currer" was the surname of Frances Mary Richardson Currer who had funded their school (and maybe their father).[7] Of the decision to use noms de plume, Charlotte wrote:




"Averse to personal publicity, we veiled our own names under those of Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell; the ambiguous choice being dictated by a sort of conscientious scruple at assuming Christian names positively masculine, while we did not like to declare ourselves women, because - without at that time suspecting that our mode of writing and thinking was not what is called "feminine" - we had a vague impression that authoresses are liable to be looked on with prejudice; we had noticed how critics sometimes use for their chastisement the weapon of personality, and for their reward, a flattery, which is not true praise."




Jane Eyre was published later and it tells the story of a plain governess, Jane, who, after difficulties in her early life, falls in love with her employer, Mr Rochester. They marry, but only after Rochester's insane first wife, of whom Jane initially has no knowledge, dies in a dramatic house fire. The book's style was innovative, combining naturalism with gothic melodrama, and broke new ground in being written from an intensely evoked first-person female perspective.Charlotte believed art was most convincing when based on personal experience; in Jane Eyre she transformed the experience into a novel with universal appeal.




Jane Eyre had immediate commercial success and initially received favourable reviews.

Date of Birth:

April 21, 1816

Date of Death:

March 31, 1855

Place of Birth:

Thornton, Yorkshire, England

Place of Death:

Haworth, West Yorkshire, England

Education:

Clergy Daughters' School at Cowan Bridge in Lancashire; Miss Wooler's School at Roe Head

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Villette

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Charlotte Brontë: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text
Villette
Appendix A: Brontë and Brussels
1. Letter from Charlotte Brontë to Emily Brontë, 2 September 1843
2. Letter from Charlotte Brontë to Constantin Heger, 8 January 1845 (translation)
3. Letter from Charlotte Brontë to Constantin Heger, 18 November 1845 (translation)
Appendix B: Storms in the Bible
1. Mark 4: 35-41
2. Acts 27: 1, 9-16, 18-31, 39-44
Appendix C: Women and Love
1. From Sarah Stickney Ellis, The Daughters of England (1842)
2. From Dinah Maria Mulock Craik, Olive (1850)
3. From Harriet Martineau, review of Villette. Daily News (3 February 1853)
4. From William Makepeace Thackeray, letter to Lucy Baxter (11 March 1853)
Appendix D: Women and Work
1. From Sarah Stickney Ellis, The Women of England (1839)
2. From Margaret Fuller, Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845)
3. Letter from Charlotte Brontë to Ellen Nussey, 24 June 1851
4. From Harriet Taylor Mill, The Enfranchisement of Women. Westminster Review, July 1851
5. Letter from Charlotte Brontë to Elizabeth Gaskell, 20 September 1851
6. From Dinah Maria Mulock Craik, A Womans Thoughts About Women (1858)
Appendix E: Surveillance and Espionage
1. The Post Office Espionage Case, 1844-45
a. Opening Letters at the Post Office. Hansard: House of Lords, 17 June 1844
b. Alleged Post-Office Espionage, The Times, 25 June 1844
c. The Times, 7 August 1844
d. The Times, 5 June 1845
2. From Reflections Suggested by the Career of the Late Premier. Blackwoods Edinburgh Magazine, January 1847
3. From Charlotte Brontë, The Professor (1857)
4. From Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Aurora Floyd (1863)
Appendix F: Anti-Catholicism in England
1. From Patrick Brontë, The Maid of Killarney; or Albion and Flora: A Modern Tale; In Which Are Interwoven some Cursory Remarks on Religion and Politics (1818)
2. From Maria Monk, Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk, as Exhibited in a Narrative of her Sufferings during a residence of five years as a novice, two as a black nun in the Hotel Dieu Nunnery at Montreal (1836)
3. From Thomas De Quincey, Maynooth. Blackwoods Edinburgh Magazine, May 1845
4. From Charles Neaves, Priests, Women and Families. Blackwoods Edinburgh Magazine, May 1845
5. Papal Aggression a. From Nicholas Wiseman, Archbishop of Westminster. A Pastoral Letter, From Outside the Flaminian Gate, 7 October 1850
b. The Times, 14 October 1850
Select Bibliography

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher


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

EBOOK COMMENTARY


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


Reading Group Guide

1. Discuss the character of Lucy Snowe. Do you find her to be an admirable heroine? What qualities do you like in her, or dislike? How do you think you would behave in her circumstances?

2. Writing to her publisher, Charlotte Bronte had this to say about Vilette's protagonist: 'I consider that [Lucy Snowe] is both morbid and weak at times; her character sets up no pretensions to unmixed strength, and anybody living her life would necessarily become morbid.' What do you think of this appraisal? Do her 'unheroic' qualities make her more sympathetic or less?

3. Virginia Woolf felt that Villette was Bronte's 'finest novel, ' and speaking about Bronte, wrote that "All her force, and it is the more tremendous for being constricted, goes into the assertion, 'I love, I hate, I suffer.'" What do you think Woolf means? Do you find this observation interesting, appealing, or moving?

4. Why do you think Bronte sets the narrative of Villette in a foreign country?

5. Explore the theme of education in Villette: What is the role of education in Lucy Snowe's own life?

6. The conclusion of Villette is famously ambiguous (it was made purposefully so by Bronte). Do you find it a happy ending? A sad one? Discuss.


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