Villette After a family disaster, sheltered young Lucy travels to London, then later to teach at a French boarding school where she is surrounded by romance and adventure. Lucy is not able to escape heartache, however, but her journey has only just begun. Charlotte Bronte's final novel, published in 1853, traces Lucy's psychology and uses Gothic doubling to represent externally what Lucy experiences internally. The book eclipsed even Jane Eyre in the eyes of many critics. One proclaimed it as the most insightful fictional study of a woman's consciousness in English literature.