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The Professor [Hardcover]

Charlotte Bronte
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
RRP: £14.40
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Book Description

27 Dec 2006 1934169420 978-1934169421
The Professor (1857) was Charlotte Brontë's first and least regarded novel, rejected by all publishers during her lifetime and published posthumously by her widower A. B. Nicholls.

Charlotte herself defended the novel passionately. "I said to myself that my hero should work his way through life as I had seen real living men work theirs -- that he should never get a shilling he had not earned."

Indeed, William Crimsworth, the hero, is the self-made master of all his life's ambiguous fortune, including his career as a professor in Brussels, and his true love. Whatever the comparisons to Charlotte Brontë's other, more popular novels, The Professor deserves a closer examination and a new reader perspective.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Norilana Books (27 Dec 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934169420
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934169421
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 15 x 22.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,583,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Charlotte Brontë (1816-55) is one of the greatest novelists of the 19th century. The author of a number of highly acclaimed and popular novels, she is best-known for her novel Jane Eyre. Heather Glen is a Fellow of New Hall, Cambridge. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars highly enjoyable 14 Mar 2009
By mrs_t
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
i very much enjoyed this novel and can't understand why it has only 3 stars when it is of superb literary character. Very charlotte bronte, reminded me of vilette, with most of the novel set away from england - cue lots of french, which unless you are fluent means alot of time flicking back to the notes section. However the plot line is charming, in the introduction charlotte is said to have stated that she refused to give her protagonist an easy time, that he would have to earn his money and his wife..and that he does. It is essentially a love story from the male perspective - which is a lovely change from the austin swooning/ heart racing/ carrying on's of some novels
i found it charming
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 4 Feb 2011
By hoden
I don't understand why this book, Charlotte's first, which she wrote before Jane Eyre, was rejected for publication at the time. I thoroughly enjoyed this book just as much as all her others. The book is beautifully written, if not as powerful as her later works, she nonetheless still exhibits her brilliance & talent as a writer. I would highly recommend this book to all Bronte fans. I just wish the sisters had lived longer to produce more wonderful work.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The author's first novel 22 Mar 2006
Readers aspiring to have a knowledge of Charlotte Brontë’s work should read "The Professor" as it contains the key to much of her subsequent writing like "Jane Eyre" or "Vilette". The novel is based on the author’s own experiences in Brussels. The central character, William Crimsworth, an orphan, leaves his dreary clerking post in a Yorkshire mill to start a career as a teacher of English in the Belgian capital. He falls in love with a Protestant pupil, Frances Henri, teacher and lace mender. However William’s relationship is complicated by the manipulative and beguiling Catholic headmistress, Zoraide Reuter, and her cunning attempts to divert him from his destiny.
The novel, written in 1846, astonishes by its brevity and realism and by its portrayal of the heroine’s insistence on a working career after her marriage.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The main character is a self-made man 1 Feb 2011


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?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing first novel 20 July 2014
By Aletheuon TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this early novel by Charlotte Bronte and, perhaps strangely, it gave me a fuller appreciation of her greatness as a novelist than ever before. Bronte deals with some important issues which must have been preoccupations of hers, such as denomination and religion, class, nationality, and feminism. I'd say its underlying theme is the nature of human freedom.
The Professor, Brontės first novel, was not published until after her sadly early death. I find it intriguing that,in an era when there were many restrictions placed upon women, she imagines what greater freedom would be like by choosing to write in the first person as William Crimsworth, an aristocratic but friendless young man. He is vulnerable - like Jane Eyre,he's an orphan and, as Lucy Snowe was to do in Villette, he leaves an England which seems to offer him little and builds a new life in Brussels. Perhaps Charlotte Bronte felt better able to explore the issues of male and female power through writing as a man; in any case, boring but worthy Crimsworth seems her ideal man, treating his wife - if not quite as an equal - then at least as someone worthy of freedom and respect.
William has received little love, respect or help from his biological family and, though he works hard and outwardly challenges no-one, he is unwilling to submit to the kind of control and exploitation his relatives offer him. Helped by the enigmatic Hunsden, he manages to get a job as a teacher in a Belgian school. There, he is attracted to the strong-minded headmistress of the next-door girls' school and later to a junior teacher and pupil of his, Frances Henri.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent short read
Published 13 days ago by Bookish
4.0 out of 5 stars The Professor
This is a well written book and Charlotte Bronte's first attempt at a novel. It is involved in the affairs of William Crimsworth as he finds his way in life. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mrs. A. Oliver
4.0 out of 5 stars Accepted wisdom of the Classics
Having promised myself that I wouldn't depart this earth until I had read or reread the classics, I am using retirement to speed progress. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Professor Sandy RAEBURN
2.0 out of 5 stars The Professor
Not not enjoy - milksop for a heroine and the other characters did not come alive for me. Wasted time reading it. A disappointment after her other works.
Published 7 months ago by Elisabeth Frewin
5.0 out of 5 stars Book for Wife
As above.
18 more words required.
14 more words required.
10 more words required.
6 more words required.
finished at last!
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars THE PROFESSOR
A bit long winded, it could have all been written using a great deal less descriptive passages , but I felt compelled to finish it.
Published 8 months ago by Janice Palmer
3.0 out of 5 stars Not her best.
I enjoyed this book but nowhere near as much as Charlotte Bronte's other books. There was too much narrative in French, and, although it did not prevent me from understanding the... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Jackie M
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not as good as jane Eyre
Charlotte writes beautifully in this book and you get a real sense of the character. I was hoping for a book with as many twists as jane Eyre, but is a much more less dramatic. Read more
Published 9 months ago by kwall22
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
To be perfectly frank I found The Professor longwinded , heavy and boring. No question Charlotte hit the jackpot with Jane Eyre, and rightly so !!! this did nothing at all for me.
Published 11 months ago by D. Eastwood
5.0 out of 5 stars underrated bronte
to my shame i had not read this before, even though i love charlotte brontes work, so it was a pleasant surprise, i loved it. Read more
Published 12 months ago by currer bell
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