VILLETTE & a Cup of Tea (a Giveaway!)

Villette and Tea

Oh, how Charlotte Brontë loves to surprise us. Lucy Snowe, our seemingly frank yet mysterious narrator, claims to be unsurprised by some of the developments in Volume II of Villette, but there is a question about whether she is just saving face, as Jaclyn at Covered in Flour argues, or whether she relishes having the upper hand by keeping these secrets.

Certain themes dominate Volume II, including the role of women in society, as Beth at Too Fond discusses. For example, Lucy and M. Paul, a domineering continental European man, clash over whether a young woman like Lucy should “contemplate” a lavish portrait entitled “Cleopatra” or confine herself to viewing the hideous “four pictures of a woman’s life.”  M. Paul concludes, “You nurslings of Protestantism astonish me. You unguarded Englishwomen walk calmly amidst red-hot ploughshares and escape burning,” referencing other themes in Brontë’s work: Lucy’s independence and the conflict between British and French values in Brontë’s fictionalized Belgium.

While Lucy vows not to burden anyone, she suffers from the isolated nature of her work and lifestyle, and increasingly leans on someone who is connected to her through a shared English identity and past. In his home, a foreign-yet-familiar room, Lucy finds herself comforted by the reminders of England, including “English tea,” which she proclaims “render[s] the picture perfect.”

As I mentioned on Twitter, this is a novel that calls for a cup of black tea while reading it. On a whim, largely because it’s been a long time since my last giveaway, I’ve decided to offer a “good book and a cup of tea” GIVEAWAY to complement the Villette read-along. This giveaway is open now through 11:59 PM (EST) on Sunday, June 2nd.

I will choose ONE WINNER, who will receive:

  • A $10 Gift Certificate to (open to anyone living where Amazon will honor the gift certificate); and
  • A $10 Gift Certificate to (US residents only) (they have a nice selection of loose teas)

If the winner can only accept the gift certificate, I will choose a second winner to receive the Teavana gift certificate.

To Enter:

All you have to do is write a comment below, anything from “I’m in!” to a description of your favorite classic novel or tea will suffice. You do not need to follow my blog (and you do not have to be a blogger). On June 3rd, I will choose one winner at random (using’s Integer Generator to pick a winner, and counting comments but not replies to comments).  I will contact that person by email and they must respond to my email within 48 hours. We will work out the details.

Good luck and thank you for participating!

We will conclude Villette next week. In the meantime, join the discussion on Twitter (#villettealong).


  1. This Giveaway is now closed. I will draw a winner and notify that person within the next 24 hours. They will have 48 hours to respond to my email. Thank you for participating!

  2. I like the classic green tea. It’s hard to make a tea that isn’t too overpowering or gets watered down. Bottled teas taste more like sugar drinks than tea.

    1. I agree with you about bottled teas! I like the less sweet Honest Teas, but most of the bottled teas I’ve tried are far too sweet.

    1. Hi, Donna! I love sipping on a cup of tea while reading a good book, preferably outside (if only my garden were as lovely as yours!).

  3. My favorite classic novel is 1984! I love dystopian classics and this one is gold. My favorite tea is anything green (but definitely peach green tea) 🙂 thanks for the giveaway!

    1. It’s been a long time since I read 1984, but I remember liking it. I like peach green tea, too (I love fruity flavors in tea). Thanks for participating!

    1. Yes, Villette is quite dark, but I’m enjoying it. I really like Jane Eyre, too (after the Lowood parts–that was tough for me!).

  4. My favorite classic of all-time is a tie between Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. I have just discovered the joys of matcha green tea, so I would pick that as my favorite tea at the moment, although I always enjoy a cup of good ‘ole mint tea as well.

    1. I really liked both Frankenstein and Fahrenheit 451! Great books. I also enjoy a cup of mint tea (and I often add mint leaves to my black tea).

  5. I’ve been stuck on my endeavor to finish one classic a year, and haven’t picked up Moby Dick in months. But I’m still hoping to have it done by December! And my tea du jour is gen mai cha. Thanks for the give-away!

  6. I believe I read Villette (along with Anne Bronte’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall) in college, although neither book was for a class. I remember liking it–I really should re-read it.

    Oh, and I’m in!

    1. I’m really enjoying Villette, and I’m kind of sad that I’m almost done with it! It’s one that I will probably re-read in the future. I haven’t read Anne Bronte’s novels, but I probably should.

  7. Best classic novel to me: Gone With the Wind. Before you scoff, I must point out these characters are maybe the best ever written. Think about what a selfish whiny bitch Scarlet was, yet readers loved her. Melanie Wilkes was a wonder. Every single character in that book lived and breathed, fully fleshed and amazing. Margaret Mitchell was an excellent writer. I’m glad she won the Pulitzer. The movie’s okay, but to really understand how incredible the characters were, read the book!

    1. I’ve never read “Gone With the Wind,” or seen the movie (apart from clips of a few scenes). It’s interesting to hear that it’s your favorite classic novel.

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