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'Sleep went quite away. I used to rise in the night, look round for her, beseech her earnestly to return. A rattle of the window, a cry of the blast only replied - Sleep never came!'
Based on Charlotte Bronte's own experiences as a governess in Brussels, her last novel tells the story of lonely Lucy Snowe who finds employment at a girls' boarding school in the town of Villette. Finding the students challenging and experiencing the pain of unrequited love for the first time, Lucy becomes increasingly isolated in a world governed by societal expectation and struggles to maintain her integrity in the face of her envious and watchful employer, Madame Beck.