Prime logo Prime member exclusive:
pick 2 free titles with trial.
Pick 1 title (2 titles for Prime members) from our collection of bestsellers and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
Your Premium Plus plan will continue for $14.95 a month after 30-day trial. Cancel anytime.
Villette  By  cover art

Villette

By: Charlotte Brontë
Narrated by: Charlotte Ritchie
Try for $0.00

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $19.99

Buy for $19.99

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

This Penguin Classic is performed by Charlotte Ritchie, best known for her roles as Oregon in Channel 4's Fresh Meat, Hannah in the BBC Three comedy Siblings, and as Barbara Gilbert in BBC drama Call the Midwife.

With neither friends nor family, Lucy Snowe sets sail from England to find employment in a girls' boarding school in the small town of Villette. 

There she struggles to retain her self-possession in the face of unruly pupils, an initially suspicious headmaster and her own complex feelings, first for the school's English doctor and then for the dictatorial professor Paul Emmanuel. Drawing on her own deeply unhappy experiences as a governess in Brussels, Charlotte Brontë's last and most autobiographical novel is a powerfully moving study of isolation and the pain of unrequited love, narrated by a heroine determined to preserve an independent spirit in the face of adverse circumstances.

Public Domain (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"Listening to Call the Midwife actress Charlotte Richie read Charlotte Brontë's lesser-known novel Villette was a hugely enjoyable experience on my morning commute on trains so packed that I could not stretch out my arms to open a book." (i News)

  

Featured Article: 40+ Inspirational Quotes for When You Need Some Words of Reassurance


When life gets tough or self-doubt strikes, a few words of inspiration can make an incredible difference. And who better to turn to for words of inspiration than gifted authors? In this collection of quotes from noted novelists, poets, and memoirists, you'll find the right words to lift your spirits and keep you shining. From a variety of celebrated authors, these quotes will inspire you to follow your dreams, face your fears, do what's right, and believe in yourself.

What listeners love about Villette

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    48
  • 4 Stars
    22
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    57
  • 4 Stars
    13
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    39
  • 4 Stars
    17
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Highly Recommended

The narrator is phenomenal. I love her voice and her inflection. She faithfully portrays each character's voice; how she manages to capture so many, varied tones is amazing.

I love this story. I loved it even more as I listened to it. When I read it, the French caused me to struggle with gaps that were held together more easily while listening.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Lucy Snow’s inconsistency in consistently annoying

Perhaps it’s meant to be showing the complexity of the character but I found this character entirely unreal due to the inconsistency in her behavior from chapter to chapter and even sometimes scene to scene. Frustrating. The poor mans Jane Eyre.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Boring

This book was boring. Very long tedious prose. 25% in the book and still nothing was happening.
Narration was not the best either. Every character had basically the same voice.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Fantastic Narration & Beautiful Writing

The Bronte sister’s books are my favorite for their gothic themes, beautiful prose, and romance. There is a richness in the writing that draws you into the role of confidant to the main character, a writing skill that seems inimitable. You see attempts in modern literature, but it comes off as forced and awkward. The narration of this story is enjoyable and easy to listen to, with a voice that fits the story, a must for me when it comes to audiobooks. There are parts of the story where interest may lag, but it truly is a brilliantly written and narrated story. Listening rather than reading this book may pull you more deeply into the story. I highly recommend.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good story, good narration- but you need to speak French..

Warning a good portion of this book is in French. I don’t speak French so was not prepared. Sometimes you could guess what was said based on the responses, but others times you can get really lost. And one or to times a critical plot points is completely missing if you don’t understand French… BUT… This was a good story, that weaves the lives of different characters into one narrative. A bit dated but still good.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Masterpiece

I find this to be Charlotte Bronte’s finest work, rich with deep psychological insight into timeless affairs of the human heart, here beautifully performed.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I feel the richer for having read it thrice

Language can entertain no better than in this story, even if you can't understand French. A much lighter story than Jane Eyre or her sister's Agnes Grey. Joins Jane Eyre and works of JRRT and JKR on my list of the thrice-read. Once for the language, twice for the characters, thrice for the subtle weave that holds it all together.
I like the situational humor: a madame whose rule is founded on espionage. I like its frequent infusion of literary imagery from ages past. Its verbosity is not inflated prose of the word-processor age. I would that any modern writer wishing to employ first person narrative be required to read this book first.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Pure poetry

The sheer love of words propelled me forward. What genius in the flowering of the English language. Enter herein to open your ears and heart. Listen well.



Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for S McQuilliam
  • S McQuilliam
  • 05-14-20

Simply beautiful

This narration was beautiful, Charlotte didn't do the awful childlike voices I've heard other narrators mimic.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lucy T
  • Lucy T
  • 10-29-20

Great performance, story not so much!

Great narration but I dont know that I'd listen again - depressing and a bit odd. Charlotte did not convince me of her heros good points and her heroine is a prickly character. Dont invest too much in the story and you be fine!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for E Davis
  • E Davis
  • 07-08-23

I will die on this hill

Charlotte was by far the worst writer of the three Bronte sisters. This was painful from begging to end. Do yourself a favour & just don't bother

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for C
  • C
  • 01-12-23

Disappointing, lacking credibility, dull

I may have fallen out of love with Charlotte Brontë. This book has done the unthinkable. What a dull, annoying, laborious listen. Key moments between characters (not recognising old acquaintances in particular) just make you lose your faith in the author and the plot- line. And then a most annoying habit of describing everything in threes, repeating the same phrase in 3 different ways. So tiresome, so formulaic, so prosey. And then most irritating of all, one of the principal male characters, described almost throughout as ‘a little man’, imperious, misogynistic, waspish…. So nasty… he then turns out to be the love of the heroine’s life! After all his obnoxious behaviour, hissing insults into the heroine’s ear, then somehow she manages to fall in love with this man. And another thing, the endless ranting of Catholicism vs Protestantism… oh sooooo patronising, pious. I managed to finish it but it’ll be a long time before I read even jane eyre again.