Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Re-reading Villette

I have fallen into the habit of re-reading favourite novels last thing at night in bed.  I began with The Brothers Karamazov and I'm now over half way through Villette. There's no need to hurry. I know the story. I can saunter slowly and take pleasure in my surroundings.

Villette is much less dramatic than Jane Eyre- which is why it's never shared the earlier book's popularity- but it has greater subtlety, its people are wonderfully complex and alive and the world of the romantic imagination- of angels and devils and wild, wild weather- rages and storms against the very thin walls of custom and civility that they've built for their protection. Lucy Snowe- impassioned, repressed, independent, floating free of class and caste- is my very favourite fictional character.
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