This book did not live up to my expectations. I was originally very excited to read this book because I wanted to see how C. Bronte wrote from a male perspective. In William Crimsworth, she creates a character with a great deal in common with Jane Eyre; yet, he is not as interesting to follow or as sympathetic. William continues to perservere through any struggle that life has given him. He holds his head with dignity while his closest relative throws him on the street. Then, he maintains a strong Protestant work ethic in the heavily Catholic city of Brussels. C. Bronte seems to be reflecting upon her own experiences while living in Belgium; however, I found the constant negativity surrounding the Catholic faith to be distracting from her message concering hard work and perserverance. When descibing the girls at his school, William says, "I suspect the root of this precocious impurity so obvious, so general in Popish countries, is to be found in the discipline if not the doctrines of the Church of Rome." The comparison between Catholics and Protestants is contant thoughout this book. I found it zenophobic and ignorant while reading. While a teacher at a girls' finishing school, Crimsworth falls in love twice. First with the coquettish Catholic school mistress, Zoraide Reuter and then with the subserviant Protestant lace-mender, Frances Henri. Frances and Zoraide are as different as night and day; however Crimsworth is attracted to both of them. Again, it seems as though Charlotte is making a comparison between two religions as well as two different types of women with her choices of love interest for William C. All in all, William Crimsworth is not the character I was expecting to meet. He is pompous, conceited, and non-sympathetic. I suppose there is usually a touch of superiority in most Bronte characters, yet I usually find their circumstances to cause sympathy. I felt none for WC. One more thing about this addition: there are frequent typographic errors. I suppose that is why it only costs 1.50.
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