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Editorial Reviews

Charlotte Brontë's Villette follows protagonist Lucy Snowe as she bounces from one career to another. First a servant, then a teacher, the hapless Snowe is besotted by family tragedy and doomed romance. Eloquent performer Davina Porter imbues the hard-working Snowe with solemnity tinged by optimism. Indeed, as an unwed, working woman in 19th-century Europe, Snowe must struggle to define herself against the prevailing gender codes of her day. Porter, known for her painstaking attention to historical detail, captures the mannerisms and conventions of Brontë's characters, lending context and veracity to this striking case study of a Victorian woman’s prospects for love, happiness, and independence.
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Publisher's Summary

Hailed as Charlotte Brontë’s “finest novel” by Virginia Woolf, Villette is the timeless semi-autobiographical tale of Lucy Snowe. Left with no family and no money, Lucy goes against her own timid nature and travels to the small city of Villette, France, where she becomes a school teacher in Madame Beck’s school for girls. During her stay, she falls in love—twice—and discovers an independent, inner strength rarely seen in women of her time.
Public Domain (P)2006 Recorded Books, LLC
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Kristin on 09-07-14

You need to be a Bronte fan to enjoy this story

Is there anything you would change about this book?

While I actually enjoyed this book, it is quite long. I also think you will have to be a Bronte fan to enjoy this story. There is quite a few conversations in French, and for those of us who do not speak the language that is quite a challenge.

Would you recommend Villette to your friends? Why or why not?

This is a book for audible listeners who enjoy long classical stories.

What does Davina Porter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Davina Porter is a perfect narrator for this story. Without her excellent interpretation of the characters, it would be quite a challenge to get through the whole book.

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6 of 7 people found this review helpful


By Pamela on 05-02-14

Too much french

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This was a good book, however there's a lot of french in it. I can read french, but it was quite annoying to miss major plot points because they were read in french, Would have been useful, if not true to the book, to translate.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Clearly our main character- I like how she took her destiny in her own hands and went for what she wanted.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Davina Porter?

Noone- she's always great

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8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Annie on 05-27-14

Delivery is all.

If you could sum up Villette in three words, what would they be?

This is a classic and worth reading for that alone. It also gives a social history.

For me it was spoilt by unenthusiastic reading and by not including a translation of some of the most important parts of the text which was, at times, in French. I have heard this done by footnote references and this would only be needed where the French is relevant to the plot etc.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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