Villette is an 1853 novel written by English author Charlotte Brontë. After an unspecified family disaster, the protagonist Lucy Snowe travels from her native England to the fictional French-speaking city of Villette to teach at a girls' school, where she is drawn into adventure and romance.
Villette was Charlotte Brontë's fourth novel; it was preceded by and is a reworking of the posthumously published The Professor, her first novel, and then by Jane Eyre and Shirley.
Lucy Snowe, the narrator and main character of Villette, is a quiet, self-reliant, intelligent, 23-year-old woman. Lucy has, as Miss Ginevra Fanshawe asserts, "no attractive accomplishments – no beauty." She seems to have no living relatives.
Though usually reserved and emotionally self-controlled, Lucy has strong feelings and affections for those whom she really values. She even sincerely cares for the giddy Ginevra, albeit in a blunt, curmudgeonly fashion.
This edition of the book contains all six of the original illustrations, rejuvenated, and four additional images unique to this edition of the book.
Charlotte Brontë (21 April 1816 – 31 March 1855) was an English novelist and poet, the eldest of the three Brontë sisters who survived into adulthood and whose novels have become classics of English literature. She first published her works (including her best known novel, Jane Eyre) under the pen name Currer Bell.
Brontë's first manuscript, The Professor, did not secure a publisher, although she was heartened by an encouraging response from Smith, Elder & Co. of Cornhill, who expressed an interest in any longer works Currer Bell might wish to send. Brontë responded by finishing and sending a second manuscript in August 1847. Six weeks later Jane Eyre: An Autobiography was published.
Brontë became pregnant soon after her wedding, but her health declined rapidly and, according to Gaskell, she was attacked by "sensations of perpetual nausea and ever-recurring faintness." She died, with her unborn child, on 31 March 1855, aged 38, three weeks before her 39th birthday. Her death certificate gives the cause of death as tuberculosis, but biographers including Claire Harman suggest that she died from dehydration and malnourishment due to vomiting caused by severe morning sickness or hyperemesis gravidarum. There is also evidence that she died from typhus, which she may have caught from Tabitha Ackroyd, the Brontë household's oldest servant, who died shortly before her. Brontë was interred in the family vault in the Church of St Michael and All Angels at Haworth.