Read by LibriVox Volunteers

(4.1 stars; 92 reviews)

After a tragedy in her family, Lucy Snow leaves her home to become a teacher at a French boarding school. Lucy soon begins to fight against an overwhelming sense of desolation. Meeting a charming doctor and a strict, peculiar schoolmaster changes her life forever-- and threatens to break her spirit. (summary by heatherausten)

(20 hr 25 min)


Chapter 1 – Bretton 18:26 Read by Chip
Chapter 2 – Paulina 16:08 Read by Jim Mowatt
Chapter 3 – The Playmates 35:01 Read by Heather Barnett
Chapter 4 – Miss Marchmont 24:51 Read by Tae Jensen
Chapter 5 – Turning a New Leaf 10:57 Read by Ophelia Darcy
Chapter 6 – London 25:15 Read by Heather Barnett
Chapter 7 – Villette 24:02 Read by Kristin LeMoine
Chapter 8 – Madame Beck 33:11 Read by Ophelia Darcy
Chapter 9 – Isidore 27:03 Read by Michelle Crandall
Chapter 10 – Dr. John 17:31 Read by Michelle Crandall
Chapter 11 – The Portresse’s Cabinet 15:11 Read by Ophelia Darcy
Chapter 12 – The Casket 26:55 Read by Tora
Chapter 13 – A Sneeze Out of Season 28:13 Read by Susan Denney
Chapter 14 – The Fête 1:09:03 Read by Ophelia Darcy
Chapter 15 – The Long Vacation 31:03 Read by Kymm Zuckert
Chapter 16 – Auld Lang Syne 34:28 Read by Kymm Zuckert
Chapter 17 – La Terrasse 22:26 Read by Michelle Crandall
Chapter 18 – We Quarrel 18:15 Read by Michelle Crandall
Chapter 19 – The Cleopatra 28:03 Read by Kirsten Ferreri
Chapter 20 – The Concert 44:46 Read by Michelle Crandall
Chapter 21 – Reaction 42:50 Read by Catherine Chang Kit
Chapter 22 – The Letter 24:11 Read by diemen
Chapter 23 – Vashti 29:36 Read by Kirsten Ferreri
Chapter 24 – M. De Bassompierre 31:06 Read by Heather Barnett
Chapter 25 – The Little Countess 32:45 Read by Lotte Claire
Chapter 26 – Villette 34:20 Read by Ophelia Darcy
Chapter 27 – The Hotel Crecy 38:55 Read by Tora
Chapter 28 – The Watchguard 29:10 Read by Tora
Chapter 29 – Monsieurs Fete 33:15 Read by Tora
Chapter 30 – M. Paul 25:09 Read by Ophelia Darcy
Chapter 31 – The Dryad 26:10 Read by diemen
Chapter 32 – The First Letter 20:22 Read by Heather Barnett
Chapter 33 – M. Paul Keeps His Promise 19:55 Read by rachelellen
Chapter 34 – Malevola 28:25 Read by rachelellen
Chapter 35 – Fraternity 29:15 Read by rachelellen
Chapter 36 – The Apple of Discord 35:30 Read by Moira Fogarty
Chapter 37 – Sunshine 32:45 Read by Evangeline Rich
Chapter 38 – Cloud 1:09:07 Read by Robin Cotter
Chapter 39 – Old and New Aquaintance 28:43 Read by Tora
Chapter 40 – The Happy Pair 15:13 Read by Tora
Chapter 41 – Faubourg Clotilde 38:50 Read by Susan Denney
Chapter 42 – Villette 9:38 Read by Moira Fogarty


Villette: Teaching and Learning

(4 stars)

The heroine of this lesser known of Charlotte Bronte's novels is called Lucy Snowe, which means "light" and "cold". Thrown upon her own resources at the tender age of 14, Lucy sets out for France and, by the skin of her teeth, lands a job at a girls' school in Villete. As her name suggests, Lucy holds herself aloof from all the usual interests of young women. Coincidence and improbability plays major roles in the plot of this novel, and if the reader is intolerant of such, the book will not satisfy. Rich in symbolism, Villette serves as a metaphor for the lives of women in Victorian Europe. Particularly striking is the mystery of the spectral nun who appears in garret and garden cloister. For the modern reader, Villette suffers from too much "sermonizing." It's possible, however, to balance the religiosity with the humor invested in relatively minor characters, such as the proto-feminist Ginevra Fanshawe, who "has suffered less than any" other woman in Lucy's world. Ginevra is refreshingly, sometimes comedically, unrestricted by the conventions of her society. It requires but little imagination to hear the voice of Charlotte herself, who indeed lived much of her life in similar circumstances, in the thoughts and soliloquies of Lucy. In the end, Lucy's defensive remoteness is breached, but the reader is left to decide exactly how her story plays out.


(4 stars)

I really enjoyed reading this book. It is well written and she uses a lot of discriptions. Sometimes it was hard to understand what was going on in a conversation because Lucy Snow, the main character and narrator, is an English woman in France and most of the conversations are in French even though the book is written in English. I had to guess what they were saying from her reaction and response. Lucy calls several people by different names, for example Dr. John Graham Breton is Graham, Dr. John, Dr. Breton, called by his full name, etc. It took me half the book to figure out that M. Paul and M. Emanuel were the same person. I wanted to know Lucy better. I didn't really like that there was little information about her childhood, what made her the person she was, or even what kind of person she was. I had to figure that out as I went along. I had read reviews that said the ending was shocking so I got ready for any shocking way the story could end, hoping that something I didn't think was shocking was what

Amazed ....I loved it

(5 stars)

well where do I start ?? I did not know this book ... one of the few Brontë novels I'd not read !!! I think I love it... at times I hated it the characters annoyed and frustrated me times I thought it to slow or the plot weak but then I couldn't stop listening ..... so it now sits as a favourite & one I will read again soon. Thank you . readers were good...some very ... thanks again.

(2 stars)

Oh dear, lucy does torture herself in the most long drawn out way possible, making snarky comments about the catholics while using absolute pagan imagery herself. Her spirituality seems all about remaining ram rod straight , spurning offered human love and friendship while boiling herself past her endurance like a human cauldron. Doesn't she know God well enough to know self torture doesn't impress? Read if you don't mind being a bit depressed and a lot frustrated

left a mystery villette explanation point

(4 stars)

I wish that those that read and used so much French wouldn't do that! The Listener/reader sometimes can't figure out what they're talking about. and the commercials were loud music irritating! story was so so... At the end I couldn't figure out if Paul lived or not. I hope that's not a giveaway.

(3 stars)

A well developed set of characters, but the main character does tend to frustrate a reader. She can be preachy, self-deprecating, and woefully happy being unhappy. Not as easy to like or care about the outcomes of each character's path as in Bronte ' s Jane Eyre.

(3 stars)

First of all, there is a LOT of French spoken in this book with no translation provided. You will miss a lot of dialogue if you don’t understand French. Most of the readers were very good, but a few had distracting background sounds.

(4 stars)

Readings were good/fine. Hated the French in the writing, ignored but felt I was missing something. Well thought-out storyline but the ending felt rushed.