Summer Moon…Villette by Charlotte Bronte (Chapters 12-17)

‘One moment longer,’ whispered solitude and the summer moon, ‘stay with us: all is truly quiet now; for another quarter of an hour your presence will not be missed: the day’s heat and bustle have tired you; enjoy these precious minutes.’

Contrast this passage from Chapter 13 with this which concludes Chapter 15:

If the storm had lulled a little at sunset, it made up now for lost time. Strong and horizontal thundered the current of the wind from northwest to south-east; it brought rain like spray, and sometimes, a sharp hail like shot; it was cold and pierced me to the vitals. I bent my head to meet it, but it beat me back. My heart did not fail at all in this conflict; I only wished that I had wings and could ascend the gale, spread and repose my pinions on its strength, career in its course, sweep where it swept. While wishing this, I suddenly felt colder where before I was cold, and more powerless where before I was weak. I tried to reach the porch of a great building near, but the mass of frontage and the giant-spire turned black and vanished from my eyes. Instead of sinking on the steps as I intended, I seemed to pitch headlong down an abyss. I remember no more.

Who can compare the travails of the heart with the storms found in weather like Charlotte Bronte? (And, don’t you love the artwork I found for the summer moon? Click on the painting to take you to the site.)

Thanks to Wallace of Unputdownables for hosting this read-along. Find Week Three reviewers here.

10 thoughts on “Summer Moon…Villette by Charlotte Bronte (Chapters 12-17)”

  1. The painting is very pretty.I can't say I noticed the use of weather in the book, which is weird because it's usually one of the first things I notice. I think I became too caught up in trying to finish it.


  2. Audrey, I knew you would, too, we're so similar! ;)Charlie, I guess I was caught up in the distress of Lucy's emotions, and hence the weather seemed to correspond with it to me. I can see if you're in a hurry to finish, though, that you might not notice something that 'trivial'.Joan, it really does leave you hanging! You wonder where she went, and is she okay, and you absolutely have to keep reading. Which I did, until I finished the book. Now I can only post with the 'scheduled' option, and hope my memory lasts me too comment on others' posts for the read along.Suko, to me the painting seemed to capture both the freshness of a summer moon and the somber quality, under which I feel our heroine is suffering.Simplerpastimes, I can only remember the major plot(s) and characters, but certainly not the little nuances which comprise much of the 700 (or thereabouts) pages. No surprise to me that one wouldn't remember these little passages, except for the curiosity I felt about what had happened to Lucy at the end of the last one.Vintage Reading, I'm wondering why you're not feeling the love for Lucy/Villette. I'll pop over and see if I can discover an answer in your post.


  3. Claire, do! Join us! It runs until March 31, and the schedule can be found on my Challenges link at the top of my blog (or on Wallace's blog which I've linked to in my post). The schedule is easy, only about five chapters a week, and we usually post on Thursdays. You're such a fast reader you could easily jump in. XO


  4. From the tremendous storm which smashes a tree in two in Jane Eyre, Charlotte has always used weather as a powerful metaphor in her writing, and I always love it.I used that word 'bustle' in a post on another Villette blog without realising that Charlotte had used it herself, where I was talking about the bustle of the fete and how those early summer days are contrasted with the solitude and finally despair of the long vacation, which your two chosen underline very neatly indeed.


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