Author by : Charlotte Bronte
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Publisher by : Independently Published
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Description : Illustrations by-Edmund Dulac ( 2 Paintings) and-John Jellicoe (6 Drawings)-Two Photos.Annotations-Villette Summary-Villette Character List-Villette Glossary-Villette ThemesCharlotte Brontë wrote not one but two masterpieces. Most readers know Jane Eyre. Even non-readers feel they know it, because they have seen a film version, or just because it is a part of our common culture. But Villette, Brontë's last and - to my mind - greatest novel, is less popular, perhaps because it is so uncompromising and so original. It is high time it was recognised as the blazing work it is. Reading it you enter an area of experience - of passion and disappointment and the violent return of the repressed - that has seldom been so lucidly articulated.It is also an astonishing piece of writing, a book in which phantasmagorical set pieces alternate with passages of minute psychological exploration, and in which Brontë's marvellously flexible prose veers between sardonic wit and stream-of-consciousness, in which the syntax bends and flows and threatens to dissolve completely in the heat of madness, drug-induced hallucination and desperate desire."Villette! Villette!" wrote George Eliot. "It is a still more wonderful book than Jane Eyre. There is something almost preternatural in its power." It was unlike the strong-minded Eliot to be reduced to exclamation marks and vague talk of a "something". But Villette was so innovative for its time, and remains to this day so potently strange, that critics have struggled to find words to describe it. "There are so few books, and so many volumes," wrote Eliot's partner GH Lewes. "Among the few stands Villette." Lewes thought it was unique. Lesser authors were "reverberating the vague noise of others". Brontë spoke out boldly in a voice that was all her own.Villette is the most autobiographical of Brontë's novels. In it, she elaborates on the true story of her unrequited love for a married schoolmaster called Constantin Héger. In 1842 Brontë, then aged 26, went with her sister Emily to Brussels. There they worked as student-teachers in the Hégers' school with the intention of perfecting their French, and returning home to set up a school of their own.Emily, miserably homesick for the Yorkshire moors, left first. Charlotte stayed for two years, and subsequently wrote Monsieur Héger a series of letters to which he, probably in obedience to his wife, never replied. Brontë saw him as her intellectual mentor, but the yearning tone of her letters, and the two novels for which her Belgian experiences provided her with raw material, make it obvious that she was in love with him.