I’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.
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…
“Villette! Villette! 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!