Published : Thursday 17 December 2020
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The Professor (1857) is English writer Charlotte Bronte's first novel. Rejected by several publishing houses, Bronte shelved the novel in order to write her masterpiece Jane Eyre (1847). After her death, The Professor was edited by Bronte's widower, Arthur Bell Nichols, who saw that the novel was published posthumously. Based on Bronte's experience as a student and teacher in Brussels-which similarly inspired her novel Villette-The Professor is an underappreciated early work from one of English literature's most important writers. After rejecting a life as a clergyman, William Crimsworth goes to work as a clerk for his brother Edward, a successful businessman. Although he excels, his brother grows jealous of his ability and intelligence, abusing and belittling him until he is forced to quit. Disappointed, he accepts a job at a boarding school in Belgium where, mentored by the kind Monsieur Pelet, William flourishes as a professor. When news of his work reaches Mademoiselle Reuter, a local headmistress at a school for girls, she offers him a position, and William joins her staff. He begins to grow suspicious, however, when he overhears Reuter speaking about him with Pelet and discovers that the pair are engaged to be married. As he begins to second-guess their kindness, he falls in love with Frances, a young teacher-in-training. Harboring her own secret affection for William, Mademoiselle Reuter decides she must dismiss Frances if she is to maintain her control of the young Englishman. Charlotte Bronte's The Professor is a novel of romance, jealousy, and gothic mystery, an early and promising work by one of Victorian England's most prominent writers. With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Charlotte Bronte's The Professor is a classic of English literature reimagined for modern readers.