Written in 1853 and by Charlotte Bronte, the novel 'Villette' portrays a protagonist named Lucy Snowe as she narrates her thoughts and impressions on people and events around her. Bronte has shaped the protagonist's character into a web of emotional and psychological complexity, and the narration no less challenging nor surprising to decode its significance. The novel was written with the reader's presence consciously in mind, and sometimes the protagonist's reticence can baffle readers.

Struggle for either a metaphysical or otherwise survival is one of the core themes. Some circumstances are made larger than life in Lucy's contemplations and considerations, but her tensions only reveal an independent sensitive woman - of self isolation and alienation from society.

"The result is one of the greatest fictional studies in our literature..of a character who expresses more than any other woman in English fiction the anguish of unrequited love" (Mark Lilly, Penguin editor of Villete)

(in the process of being further edited, pls give me time!)

I'm reading this at the moment. I'm not very far in, but already I feel as if the character of Jane Eyre is taking over that of Lucy Snowe. Of course, I'm not saying that Lucy is a badly-written character - quite the opposite - but although I have attempted to be a literary innocent while reading it to avoid that particular sort of transmogrification of character, I've found it extremely difficult. Bronte's personable and direct style is so distinctive that I think my brain automatically associates it with Jane Eyre. And Jane Eyre is such a well-loved favourite that it is nigh on impossible to expel her from one's mind whilst reading Villette.

An excellent story so far, but I can't help but picture Jane in my mind walking the cobbled Belgian streets. She seems to fit right into Lucy's world of self-exile and alienation.

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