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The Professor [with Biographical Introduction] Kindle Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews

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Length: 132 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

The Professor was the first novel that Charlotte Brontë completed. Rejected by the publisher who took on the work of her sisters in 1846--Anne's Agnes Grey and Emily's Wuthering Heights--it remained unpublished until 1857, two years after Charlotte Brontë's death. Like Villette (1853), The Professor is based on her experiences as a language student in Brussels in 1842. Told from the point of view of William Crimsworth, the only male narrator that she used, the work formulated a new aesthetic that questioned many of the presuppositions of Victorian society. Brontë's hero escapes from a humiliating clerkship in a Yorkshire mill to find work as a teacher in Belgium, where he falls in love with an impoverished student-teacher, who is perhaps the author's most realistic feminist heroine. The Professor endures today as both a harbinger of Brontë's later novels and a compelling read in its own right.
    "The middle and latter portion of The Professor is as good as I can write," proclaimed Brontë. "It contains more pith, more substance, more reality, in my judgment, than much of Jane Eyre."


The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. The series was founded in 1917 by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foun-dation for their next publishing venture, Random House. The Modern Library has been a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with affordable hard-bound editions of important works of liter-ature and thought. For the Modern Library's seventy-fifth anniversary, Random House redesigned the series, restoring as its emblem the running torchbearer created by Lucian Bernhard in 1925 and refurbishing jackets, bindings, and type, as well as inau-gurating a new program of selecting titles. The Modern Library continues to provide the world's best books, at the best prices.

From the Back Cover

The Professor was the first novel that Charlotte Bronte completed. Rejected by the publisher who took on the work of her sisters in 1846 - Anne's Agnes Grey and Emily's Wuthering Heights - it remained unpublished until 1857, two years after Charlotte Bronte's death. Like Villette (1853), The Professor is based on her experiences as a language student in Brussels in 1842. Told from the point of view of William Crimsworth, the only male narrator that she used, the work formulated a new aesthetic that questioned many of the presuppositions of Victorian society. Bronte's hero escapes from a humiliating clerkship in a Yorkshire mill to find work as a teacher in Belgium, where he falls in love with an impoverished student-teacher, who is perhaps the author's most realistic feminist heroine. The Professor endures today as both a harbinger of Bronte's later novels and a compelling read in its own right.

Product Details

  • File Size: 635 KB
  • Print Length: 132 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1499286058
  • Publisher: Digireads.com (April 3, 2004)
  • Publication Date: April 3, 2004
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FC1FJS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,861,443 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this in a class with a lot of people who love Victorian novels, and almost everyone hated it. By general consensus it was dry and featured an unlikeable main character. For this reason, I wouldn't recommend it to many people. Nevertheless, I generally enjoyed it. It wasn't as good as Jane Eyre or Villette, but I am glad I read it.

It is a love story, and as such, I thought it succeeded. What most people saw as dry, I saw as sparse, unsentimental narration. I thought it made the love story a little more original and fresh for me. Though if this sort of storytelling isn't for you, I definitely wouldn't read it.

The other problem that most people have with this is the character of William Crimsworth. At times, he is a chauvenist and a racist. These are difficult aspects to overcome for many.

I think there are two ways to see the novel. First, it can be seen as a decent love story between a flawed man and a woman who may offer him redemption. I don't think this is a totally unenjoyable way to read it. You could also see it as a satire on the chauvenistic, supposedly self-reliant Crimsworth. It's probably a little more successful if you see it this way. If you don't like it one way, look at it from the other. Don't read this novel before Jane Eyre or Villette, but this can be a pretty good read.
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Format: Paperback
"The Professor", by Charlotte Bronte, was the author's first novel but it was not published until after her death (and perhaps she refashioned it to some degree later in her novel "Villette"). It is the tale of William Crimsworth, a man without parents and forsaken by his brother, who is forced to make his own way in the world. He decides to try his hand at teaching and travels to Brussels to teach English at an all-boys' school.

Once at the school in Brussels, he immediately begins a successful, if not profitable, teaching career. Soon enough he finds himself teaching four classes per week at the neighboring school for girls, and also finds himself falling for the headmistress Mlle. Reuter. Inexperienced with women, he is susceptible to and deceived by her whiles and charms until love enters his life in the form of a fellow teacher-pupil Frances Henri. As is to be expected, despite the abuse Crimsworth suffered from his brother, and having nothing of his own, he manages to work his way into wealth and is able to marry the woman he has fallen in love with.

At the beginning of "The Professor", Crimsworth confesses that is narrative his not exciting and he holds true to his word, especially since he can be a rather irksome narrator. While not a novel to shake the foundations of literature, "The Professor" offers insights into who Charlotte Bronte would become as a writer. Her characters, a few who are one-dimensional, are mainly well-sketched and drawn out; and despite her claim to the lack of excitement in her narrator's story, his tale unfolds briskly and with few unexpected revelations.
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Format: Paperback
The Professor is the story of William Crimsworth, a young man of small means and weak family connections who travels to Brussels to earn a living. He settles there as an English professor in an all-boys school and teaches part-time in the neighbouring girls' school. There he falls in love with one of his pupils, a poor lace-mender, and is pursued by the school's directress, an artful self-interested woman.
If this sounds rather dull to you, then you have the correct impression. The book is not as exciting as Jane Eyre or as moving as Villette. The narrative moves slowly, and Crimsworth is a very analytical type of character who does not scruple to record his thoughts on every detail. Nothing really dramatic happens and emotions are not heightened. But what I really dislike about this novel is the prejudiced portrayal of the Flemish, described often as coarse and unthinking, as inferior to the English.
The novel has a strong negative sound, very different to that in Villette. Although Crimsworth is the marble image of perseverance and self-control, almost to an inhuman level, he is haunted by hypochondria. There is a general sense of mistrust and hostility between all the characters. The editor explains in her introduction that this is the result of suppressed impulses and denied indulgences of the main characters, and reveals Bronte as a social critic. And there is one very interesting character, Mr. Hunsden, a cynical, but very like-able artistocrat who dislikes wealth (he's a bit like Rochester). Though the story is lacking in feeling, it still has bits here and there of beautiful prose and warmth that make it worth reading for a Bronte fan, but most others would judge it too slow-paced and dull.
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For a young writer's first attempt this novel is quite well-written and the plot is fairly well-conceived. However, the narrator is badly done (the Bronte girls should never try to write from a man's perspective!) and the narrative is both dull and sentimental. The characters have none of the strength and personality which makes Jane Eyre such a timeless favorite. I prefer Charlotte's later work, which has acquired depth and realism. In The Professor, her emotional maturity had clearly not caught up to her precocious intellect.
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