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Villette

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message 1: by Johanna (last edited Sep 14, 2010 09:35AM) (new)

Johanna (johanna25) Hi everyone, I am new to the group, but I'm glad to be here! I am reading Charlotte's Villette right now and would love to hear from those who have read it. I am not quite as interested in it as I had hoped I'd be. I'm about 150 pages in. I've heard that this one is Charlotte's masterpiece, but I would love to get your impressions on it. I don't feel attached to Lucy right now, but I'm hoping that will change as I read more--or that I'll at least get caught up in the story.


message 2: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 14, 2010 11:36AM) (new)

I have some problems with Vilette too. I think it's the only book by the Brontes I didn't enjoy. But, I read it long ago so my impression of it is blurred and I might give it a second chance soon. I don't think my problem with it was on the writting, but because I didn't really care for Lucy Snowe. Maybe because I read it short after Jane Eyre, it was not what I was expecting.
I have a plan to re-read all Bronte's books, so I hope I will be able to discuss it with you :)


message 3: by Johanna (new)

Johanna (johanna25) Antia, I have only read Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. Which Bronte books are your favorites? I have heard Anne is quite underrated, so I would like to read one of hers.


message 4: by Johanna (new)

Johanna (johanna25) Hi Leah, I have not finished Villete yet. I intend to, but I've been reading a couple of other books, too. I haven't connected with Lucy either. But I'm determined to finish!


message 5: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Earnshaw | 5 comments I adored Villette and had no problem liking Lucy, although I feel that the book didn't have the "it" factor quite as much as Jane Eyre did.


message 6: by Laura (new)

Laura (marspeach) | 2 comments I've read all of the Bronte books, and of all of Charlotte's I only think highly of Jane Eyre. I had a hard time with Villette for two reasons- Lucy Snowe is very reserved and a bit cold so it's hard for the reader (or me at least) to connect with her. Also because I find it depressing.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Laura wrote: "I've read all of the Bronte books, and of all of Charlotte's I only think highly of Jane Eyre. I had a hard time with Villette for two reasons- Lucy Snowe is very reserved and a bit cold so it's ha..."

Laura, I couldn't agree with you more. I thought "Villette" was indeed a good book, but I found very hard to like or understand Lucy Snowe and narration from her point of view was really depressing, I think.

I still haven't read by her "The Professor" and "Shirley" no so thrilled about them but as they are the only books by sisters I haven't read... any thought about them?


message 8: by Laura (last edited May 27, 2011 06:17AM) (new)

Laura (marspeach) | 2 comments I thought The Professor was just a boring, mediocre book. It was also so anti-Catholic it was ridiculous. I'm not religious but the way all the Catholic characters were portrayed as incredibly greedy and then the love interest is not because it turns out she's not Catholic was going too far.

Shirley I think, unlike The Professor, had a good story at least, but it was hidden under lots of extraneous detail. For example, the first chapter describes in detail the three curates of the village. I almost put the book down, this chapter was so hard to get through. Well, guess what? These curates have a minimal role in the book! Why was so much time spent on introducing them??


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Laura wrote: "I thought The Professor was just a boring, mediocre book. It was also so anti-Catholic it was ridiculous. I'm not religious but the way all the Catholic characters were portrayed as incredibly gree..."

Thanks for replying, Laura. I plan to read both but honestly, basically for a feeling of "completing a task" as they are the only ones I haven't read by the sisters (and because both are available in my town public library) I don't think I will be reading The Professor in near future because I still have fresh in mind how hard I found to read certain parts of Villette and I've heard The Professor is basically a "first version" of Villette.
I don't mean to say that Charlotte Brontë had strong prejudices agains Catholicism, but I found some parts of Villette (or Lucy Snowe's comments, better said) about catholicism showed very negative opinion of it.

I've taken a peak on the first pages of "Shirley" some weeks ago in public library. I read first pages and that chapter about the curates.. and I admit I put it back on shelf and chose another book. I will certainly give it a chance anyway.
(Funny to "see" you also in the Elizabeth Gaskell's group too :)


message 10: by Mirela (new)

Mirela (anenomeluv) Hi, I'm new as well and the first Bronte novel I read has been Villette and that was only last week! I have to say I absolutely adored it! I could easily relate to Lucy so I enjoyed it tremendously. Its quite true that it is depressing at times but I found Lucy to be a really strong character who only wants to survive and make a life for herself.

I was surprised at how much it reminded me of Pride & Prejudice though, anyone else think the same?


message 11: by Marie (new)

Marie | 9 comments Pride and Predjudice? Charlotte would roll over in her grave if she heard that, haha. I guess perhaps the love triangle thing? Not sure what similarities you are referring to though. Villette is very powerful, especially in its ability to portray Lucy's loneliness and despair -- mostly drawn on Brontë's own experiences. It is my second favorite behind Jane Eyre. Then Wuthering Heights, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Shirley, Agnes Grey, and the Professor. Just read Shirley last week. Really enjoyed it after getting past the very slow start.


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Mirela wrote: "Hi, I'm new as well and the first Bronte novel I read has been Villette and that was only last week! I have to say I absolutely adored it! I could easily relate to Lucy so I enjoyed it tremendously..."

Pride and Prejudice? Wow I never thought of that.... I personally found "Villette" a hard read and "Pride.." a very easy and comic one, but any person is different :) I found it the most difficult for me to read by the Brontes (I still haven't read The Proffessor and Shirley, but they are on my list for near future)


message 13: by Samantha (new)

Samantha (samanthajw) | 2 comments "Pride and Predjudice? Charlotte would roll over in her grave if she heard that, haha"

So true!

I actually loved Villette and Lucy Snowe. Jane Eyre is also one of my favorite novels. Any chance I can revive the Villette discussion?


message 14: by Marie (new)

Marie | 9 comments There is a new active Brontë group if anyone is interested.

http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/6...

Hope to see you there!!!


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