“Life is so constructed, that the event does not, cannot, will not, match the expectation”: First Edition of Charlotte Bronte's Villette

  • Villette.
  • Villette.


Item Number: 74905

London: Smith, Elder, 1853.

First edition of Charlotte Bronte’s most autobiographical novel. Octavo, 3 volumes, bound in contemporary half leather over cloth. In very good condition.

Villette, based on Charlotte’s experiences in Brussels, is “to so great an extent a literal reproduction of her own personal history that some of the persons described complained of minor inaccuracies as though it had been avowedly a matter-of-fact narrative” (DNB). She is thought to have portrayed her real and imagined relationship with Professor M. Heger, her married mentor in Brussels, through the characters of John Bretton and M. Paul Emmanuel, “an unromantic hero very far removed from the Byronic Rochester of Jane Eyre” (Drabble, 1030).