Cover of: Villette | Charlotte Brontë


  • Editor
    Kate Lawson

About the Book

Left by harrowing circumstances to fend for herself in the great capital of a foreign country, Lucy Snowe achieves by degrees an authentic independence from both outer necessity and inward grief. Charlotte Brontë's contemporary George Eliot wrote of Villette, "There is something almost preternatural in its power." The deceptive stillness and security of a girl's school provide the setting for this 1853 novel, Brontë's last. Modelled on Brontë's own experiences as a student and teacher in Brussels, Villette is the sombre but engrossing story of Lucy Snowe, an unmarried Englishwoman making her way in a culture deeply foreign to her. The heroine's relationships with the fiery professor M. Paul, the cool Englishman Dr. John, and the school's powerful headmistress, Madame Beck, are described in her compelling and enigmatic first-person narration. This Broadview edition includes a critical introduction by Kate Lawson and Lynn Shakinovsky. The many contextual documents include contemporary writings on surveillance and espionage, anti-Catholicism, and working women, as well as letters describing Brontë's own time in Brussels. - Back cover.

Table of Contents

Charlotte Bronte: a brief chronology
Letter from Charlotte Bronte to Emily Bronte
Letter from Charlotte Bronte to Constantin Heger
Letter from Charlotte Bronte to Constantin Heger
From The daughters of England / Sarah Stickney Ellis
From Olive / Dinah Maria Mulock Craik
From Review of Villette / Harriet Martineau
From Letter to Lucy Baxter / William Makepeace Thackeray
From The women of England / Sarah Stickney Ellis
From Woman in the nineteenth century / Margaret Fuller
Letter from Charlotte Bronte to Ellen Nussey
From The enfranchisement of women / Harriet Taylor Mill
Letter from Charlotte Bronte to Elizabeth Gaskell
From A woman's thoughts about women / Dinah Maria Mulock Craik
The post office espionage case, 1844-45
From Reflections suggested by the career of the late premier / Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine
From The professor / Charlotte Bronte
From Aurora Floyd / Mary Elizabeth Braddon
From The maid of Killarney, or Albion and Flora: a modern tale, in which are interwoven some cursory remarks on religion and politics / Patrick Bronte
From 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 / Maria Monk
From Maynooth / Thomas De Quincey
From Priests, women, and families / Charles Neaves
Papal aggression
From outside the Flaminian gate / Nicholas Wiseman

The Physical Object

647 p.
Number of pages
8.4 x 5.5 x 1.2 inches
1.2 pounds

ID Numbers

Open Library
Library Thing

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May 6, 2013 Edited by Bryan Tyson Edited without comment.
May 6, 2013 Edited by Bryan Tyson Added new cover
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