Readalong: Villette by Charlotte Brontë

31173I’m getting ready to read Villette by Charlotte Brontë this month, and because it’s a rather long book–my version is around 600 pages–I was thinking it would be nice to have some friends reading along at the same time with whom I could chat about the book and to help me stay motivated. So I’m officially announcing a readalong.

From Goodreads:

Arguably Brontë’s most refined and deeply felt work, Villette draws on her profound loneliness following the deaths of her three siblings. Lucy Snowe, the narrator of Villette, flees from an unhappy past in England to begin a new life as a teacher at a French boarding school in the great cosmopolitan capital of Villette. Soon Lucy’s struggle for independence is overshadowed by both her friendship with a worldly English doctor and her feelings for an autocratic schoolmaster. Brontë’s strikingly modern heroine must decide if there is any man in her society with whom she can live and still be free.

If you’re interested in joining in, here’s how I plan to break up the reading:

Week 1 (May 12th-19th) – Volume I

Week 2 (May 20th-26th) – Volume II

Week 3 (May 27th-June 2nd) – Volume III

If you can’t start right away, no worries–just jump in whenever. I’ll put up my thoughts on the week’s reading in a Sunday post, and then I’ll do a wrap-up at the end of the month. If you want to chat about it on twitter, we’ll use the hashtag #villettealong.

And if you need more enticement…

“VilletteVillette! Have you read it?” exclaimed George Eliot when Charlotte Brontë’s final novel appeared in 1853. “It is a still more wonderful book than Jane Eyre. There is something almost preternatural in its power.”

It’s going to be Villette-tastic!

32 thoughts on “Readalong: Villette by Charlotte Brontë

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  2. Heather

    I really, really want to read this with you, but my month is so full already. I’ll see where I am on May 12th and join in if I think I have time.

  3. Stefanie Pryke

    I’m going to do my best to join in with this, much like others I have a very busy month but wanted motivation to read this for a while now. Could anyone help me out though, I’m using a Gutenberg copy for my Reader and it isn’t split into volumes, only chapters. Anyone know where the cut off’s are? Thanks!

    1. Too Fond Post author

      Sure, Stefanie, no problem. Volume I includes ch. 1-15, Volume II is ch. 16-27, and Volume III is ch. 28-42. I’ll update my post to include this information.

  4. heavenali

    Enjoy your reading, I re-read Villette last summer, I found it a much denser book than say jane Eyre. Very good though – but I was driven mad by all the French as I kept having to flick to the back for the translation.

    1. Too Fond Post author

      That’s one area where I should have an advantage, since I’m fluent in French. I hardly ever read literature in French, though, so this will be good practice and I’ll be interested to see how it might be different from more modern French.

  5. Jaclyn

    JANE EYRE is my favorite book, but I’ve been remiss and never read anything else by Charlotte Bronte. I’m so in! (psst – I’m @backyardyogini on Twitter – nice to meet you!)

  6. lauratfrey

    I wish I could do it, but I’m hosting a Moby Dick readalong of my own this month! I actually started Villette a few weeks ago on my Kobo, and then abandoned it when I realized how long it was – I wasn’t going to finish in time for my readalong. I wanted to keep going, and I will certainly come back to it, probably in the Fall.

    I’ll be following, if not participating!

    1. Too Fond Post author

      Sounds like you will have your hands full–Moby Dick! And I complained that Villette was a bit of a chunkster, but it’s nothing compared to the great white whale. Good luck to you! 🙂

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  8. Victoria

    Great!!! I loved this book! This is the book that I read that got me into reading classics! I hope that you all enjoy reading it as much as I did!

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