Villette

  • by Charlotte Brontë
  • Narrated by Davina Porter
  • 22 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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Audible Editor 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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Wow said the male listener

I've read about six classics by women authors this year, all books that I'd managed to avoid during my formal education years. Villette is definitely my favorite. A woman without means ventures much on a trip to a destination unknown to her, without letters of introduction or even enough coin to support herself upon arrival, and makes a go of it. At least, as "a go of it" would be defined 170 years ago in England.

My only piece of advice: Probably better read, with a good French-English dictionary at your side, unless your command of spoken French is passingly adequate.
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- Jonmontanavega

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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- Kristin

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-20-2011
  • Publisher: Recorded Books