THIS IS CHARLOTTE BRONTE'S FIRST BOOK, BUT NOT A FIRST ATTEMPT, AS THE WRITER SPECIFIES IN HER PREFACE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE BOOK. NICE PLOT, NICE CHARACTERS.... THIS IS A NOVEL ABOUT TWO PARALLEL SUCCESSFUL CAREERS... WILLIAM AND FRANCES ACHIEVE A POSITION IN THE WORLD ONLY BY THE SWEAT OF THEIR BROW.
HERE IS A SHORT PLOT (NO SPOILER ABOUT THE ENDING!!! DON'T WORRY! ;-) )
This is the story of William Crimsworth, a nobleman, who decides after his studies to Eton to refuse his uncles' proposal to enter the Church and consequently, to receive as a gift a remarkable patrimony. He decides to become a tradesman like his father and his brother Edward. Once he gets a job in his brother's factory, where he must translate some business letters, he soon understands that this kind of work is tedious and monotonous; sick and tired to be treated unfairly by his tyrannical brother, William resigns from his post as a clerk to take up a career as a professor in Brussels. Here he works as a professor in two schools, one for boys and another one for girls. First fallen in love with his headmistress Madame Reuter, he soon discovers her duplicity. When he meets a young woman who teaches lace-mending in Reuter's pensionnat he understands that she is his kindred spirit. Like him, Frances is ambitious... She dreams to come back to England and open a school there... but in order to realize her dreams she must take up lessons in English from William, because Frances is half Swiss from her father and half English from her mother... their professor-pupil relationship soons changes... they fall in love with each other.... But one day all of a sudden, Frances leaves Madamoiselle Reuter's establishment.... William must look for her... but where is she?