The Professor (Annotated with Critical Essay and Biography)

The Professor (Annotated with Critical Essay and Biography)

by Charlotte Bronte

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The Professor was written by Charlotte BrontÎ and was published posthumously in 1857. Although BrontÎ had tried to have the novel published, it was rejected many times during her life. When it was finally published after her death, readers were less than enthused by the work.

The protagonist of the novel is William Crimsworth. William is orphaned and taken in by his uncles. After an education at Eton College, he refuses his unclesí recommendation of becoming a clergyman and instead becomes a tradesman. He briefly works for his brother, Edward, as a clerk, but soon heads for Belgium and becomes an English teacher at a girlsí school.

This edition is annotated with a critical essay and biography about the life and times of the Bronte family.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940013606357
Publisher: Golgotha Press
Publication date: 07/07/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 239 KB

About the Author

Date of Birth:

April 21, 1816

Date of Death:

March 31, 1855

Place of Birth:

Thornton, Yorkshire, England

Place of Death:

Haworth, West Yorkshire, England


Clergy Daughters' School at Cowan Bridge in Lancashire; Miss Wooler's School at Roe Head

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The Professor 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although this is a well written novel, it is fairly predictable in its plot line and characters. It seems to rush over significant events while dwelling on seemingly unimportant details such as location, clothing, etc. However, in spite of this, it is a nice, quick read, good to take on a plane or while waiting in line.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was so good. It is interesting to see how Brotne started out her wonderful career. I would recommend this novel to all.
Luli81 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first novel by Charlotte Brontë, though not published until her death. It has been reviewed as a simple, unimaginative portrait of an English teacher's life in Brussels, an early attempt to what her best known novel Villette would later become.I don't agree.This work shines in itself, it's the only story in which Charlotte dares to talk through a man's voice. She talks about responsibility, about earning your own success through effort and sacrifice, to defy the strict clichés and the hypocrisy of the English Society and to stand up to your ideals. In this novel, William Crimsworth can be seen as a mere strict teacher or as a revolutionary who chooses her wife-to-be because of her intellect and not because of her looks or her position. And later, he lets her grow professionally to work together as good companions, elbow by elbow, always treating her like an equal.I loved the message the book tries to convey, that work, perseverance and fair values lead you to a happy outcome. As worthy as any other of Charlotte's works, even more so, as I think this book talks more about the writer's own view of life than any other of her novels.
feelinglistless on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In The Professor, one of Charlotte Bronte¿s earliest novels, which despite many revisions wasn¿t published until two years after her death, a Yorkshire mill clerk describes fleeing to Brussels where he takes up employment as an English teacher. He falls briefly under the spell of the older Directoress but ultimately builds a fruitful marriage with one of his pupils. The density of descriptive passages make this a difficult but rewarding read, its loose structure pre-figuring the post-modern. Bronte had in mind the buck the trends of that era¿s novelists by providing a realistic approach to characterisation and narrative, which was too new for potential publishers who all rejected it outright. What they missed is how the novel captures the sheer fecklessness of the male heart, seeking acres of meaning in a girl¿s otherwise innocuous glances and how we might think we¿re in control, but we¿re really not.
joririchardson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
First of all, what I thought of this book was not influenced by "Villette," and neither is this review. I have not, as of now, read that particular Bronte volume yet (horrible, yes, I know...), so I will be reviewing this book without the comparison that everyone else places on it."The Professor" is about the young man William Crimsworth, who eradicates himself from a job working at his arrogant brother's business and goes to Belgium to become a professor. There, he meets Zoraide Reuter, the headmistress of the school, a woman who hides a conniving nature behind her charm. He also meets Frances Evans Henri, an intelligent young woman who is also one of his pupils. As he becomes closer to Frances, a jealous Zoraide schemes to remove her from the school.I loved the writing style of this book. It was delicate and precise, but not feminine of flowery. I appreciated the fact that it was told from a wholly male perspective, as I tend to find that books written during this period are a bit too laced with dramatic fainting and exclamations - something that this one kept to a minimum thanks to the stoic, practical nature of its main character. I found the male voice a refreshing change.I also loved the character of Zoraide, though I wish that she had been emphasized more thoroughly. She relies on her charm - which she is proudly all too aware of - to get her through her life. I also found it interesting that she apparently needs male attention in order to thrive, and enjoys having every man obsessed with her. Even while she has another lover, she cannot resist enticing William to fall in love with her. She offers up offended denial when the other man accuses her of flirting with William, and offers up further offended denial when William accuses her of being involved with someone else. Perhaps her need for attention and lust are attributed to her age, and fading beauty. Though Zoraide is an interesting character in this book, she isn't exactly a very large part of it. She is involved in the plot certainly, but she disappears shortly after William shifts his attentions to Frances. She is conveniently married off and swept out of the story, which disappointed me.That leads me to another point - the back cover of this book led me to believe that the story involved a love triangle of sorts. It does not. William's future love interest, Frances, does not enter the story until half-way through or more, and by then, Zoraide has been largely forgotten. Even though not completely eradicated from the plot (yet), William certainly has gotten over all traces of romantic interest in her.*Spoilers...*I also disliked the ending chapters, which describe life years, decades after William and Frances have married. They now have a son, are living pretty near happily ever after... And so on. Some scenes about William's son are given, but I wish that the book would have just ended with William and Frances marrying. I felt that the following scenes, which recounted mundane and very ordinary home life, took away from their love story.So, in short, while I loved some of the characters and the style that this book was written in, the plot simply had too many flaws for me to consider it anything beyond average.But at least I have Villette to look forward to!
StoutHearted on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This novel appears to be the precursor to "Villette," using a similar plot, but using a male voice as the narrator. The male is William Crimsworth, orphaned by poor parents, but raised by wealthy relations with resentment on both sides. Soon as he is of age, William sets off to make it on his own, which neccessitates him going into - gasp!- trade, a horrifying word among the upper class. William seeks his long-lost older brother, who didn't have the benefit of their rich relatives' protection and made a fortune on his own. William, however, is eternally an outsider, treated badly by his resentful brother, and held at bay by his coworkers, except for Mr. Hunsden, who takes up a curious, trucculent fondness for the young man. Through Hunsden's help, William gets a job in Brussels as a professor. There, he becomes besotted with two women: first, the sensual, yet deceiving Zoraide, then, the more moral and humble, Anglo-Swiss Frances. The novel is peculier for its time, but not necessarily for a Bronte, in Frances' perserverance and sense of duty to the point where she must be only in debt to herself, even after she weds. She insists on working, even though William offers her a chance to "rest" after marraige. Even when she has a child, she still works hard and worries that her salary isn't significant enough to contribute to the household. She must be her husband's equal, and together they run a school together and earn an independant living, enabling her to fulfill her dream of moving to England. You can't help but admire her character and know that she is sensible enough to take care of herself.Crimsworth prides himself on his morality and sense of duty, but his personality makes things difficult for himself. He has an air of moral superiority, both at home in England and abroad in Brussels. In Brussels, his personality seems most cruel in his descriptions of the Flemish and their Catholicism. (I believe the phrase he uses is "popish wizardry.") This is a theme that pops up in "Villette," and a little bit in "Jane Eyre," so it must be the author's bias as well. Read with the eyes of a modern-day reader, Crimsworth's feelings about Flemish Catholics are quite vitriolic and shade him in a proud, bigoted light. Interesting that he looks down upon them, but has no scruples accepting jobs from them, or teaching them. He seems to feed off of being "better," as he is always espousing English superiority. His feelings are not muted after marriage: The last chapter tells of his domestic life with Frances, where he "punishes" her for being too "French" by reading Wordsworth for an hour. In fact, any quality of Frances's that irritates WIlliam is ascribed to her foreign birth.William's judgmental nature reigns throughout the novel and makes it difficult to feel for him, especially since other people seem to work out his problems for him. While Frances has that determined spirit to care for herself drawn from years of poverty, William understands thrift but never suffers for long. Hunsden interfers on his behalf several times, and a chance encounter saving a boy's life yields a job opportunity and a wealthy connection with the boy's father. He doesn't seem deserving of Frances, a point Hunsden brings up. Yet, throughout, William never wavers in his moral pride, and is seldom forgiving for seeing pride in others. He stares at everyone, noting every detail, describing it to excess, and passing (usually unfavorable) judgement.But one judgement on which he is spot-on is the schoolmistress he had a passing fancy for, Zoraide. She has a need to be adored and wooed. When she thinks she has William ensnared, she is triumphant. But when William learns of her true nature (and relationship with his boss, M. Pelet) he turns cold, rendering her almost frantic in the attempt to win back his affections. The two would not have suited, so it is a happier conclusion to find him in a superior match with Frances. The two females of the novel are meant to rep
Shuffy2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What is more important beauty, intelligence, or wealth when it concerns the heart?William Crimsworth seeks a job from his estranged brother but on discovering a hardened man, leaves England to go to Brussels at the advice of Mr Hunsden. Employed teaching English in two schools side by side, one run by M. Pelet and the other by Mlle Z. Reuter. The positions allow him to not only learn to speak Frech fluently while earning double the pay but teaches him importance of trust and love. I've read Jane Eyre and now starting to delve further into Charlotte Brontes novels and life. I have yet to read Villete but I found this book a bit slow. I could not find character to really sympathize with until the end, even then the book ended with more of a whimper instead of a bang. I understand that it was an early work, published after her death but it is worht a read for anyone interested in the life and works of Charlotte Bronte.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book for the first time and really enjoyed it.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed book however not as much as Jane Eryre and Wuthering Heights on to the next Bronte sisters novels. : )
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Charlotte_2010 More than 1 year ago
Charlotte Bronte was a mastermind, and while her first novel was not as good as Jane Eyre, it was still an enjoyable read. It is nice to see how she developed as an author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WhisperingStories 6 months ago
This title was a lot harder going than I was expecting, being a lifelong fan of Jane Eyre. This is a fine example of an author honing their craft, knowing the masterpiece that Bronte would write later in her life. The story follows William Crimsworth from his humble beginnings, to his career as a teacher and eventual marriage to the woman he loves. Though intended to be a sympathetic hero, Crimsworth is very judgemental and xenophobic (he doesn’t think highly of women or anyone who isn’t English) character and goes on at some length about how superior he is to absolutely everyone. Knowing that this story is the main basis for Charlotte Bronte’s other book, Vilette, which is told from the perspective of a female main character – I can safely say that I prefer this plot as narrated by a character who isn’t a prat. While this book did lack the underlying passion and angst that Bronte became so brilliant at writing later on, I did find some of the dialogue quite entertaining and more direct than I necessarily expect from a Victorian novel.
mthelibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Charlotte Bronte wrote this book before "Jane Eyre" or "Shirley" and states that it was the first of her writing attempts that she did not rip up. She writes believably from her male protagonist's point of view, though I found the lengthy assessments of his high school students to be a bit over-wrought. However, the story picked up after that point and was a worthwhile addition to the Bronte collection. (Eventually, I plan to read them all, but have completed only "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte and "Wuthering Heights" by Emily thus far.) Knowledge of French is extremely helpful - there are numerous untranslated lines in French. Even my high school/college French was useful though I could not understand all of it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
rainbowdarling on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The concept of this story seems good and has the potential to be intriguing. From the start, however, the characters are dull and dry without much to recommend them to the reader. The plot plods on slowly, which further cements the complete lack of interest in the outcome of the already weak plot. I found very little to recommend this story to me, and only completed it by forcing myself to finish. I cannot recommend this book.
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BeeZnEEz101 More than 1 year ago
THis books was rather boring because it was basically all descriptions of characters and the main character is a very likable one and neither is the girl he falls in love with I think Bronte had a good idea for a story then got tired after all her character descriptions and decided to slcak off on the rest of the book but ill give her credit it was her very first book and was kinda good in a weird way i am stil a charlotte bronte fan no matter what