I have mixed feelings about this book. It wasn't as good as Jane Eyre . The characters were not developed as well. I also had a problem with the numerI have mixed feelings about this book. It wasn't as good as Jane Eyre . The characters were not developed as well. I also had a problem with the numerous long passages in French which I don't speak, and which, were made even harder when listened to on an audiobook.
The book starts out well as we see William Crimsworth, the Professor, long before he is a professor. He goes to work for his much older, industrialist brother who seems to despise him. He leaves and makes his way to Brussels where eventually becomes a teacher (which the Flemish call "Professor.) He starts out fairly well, but then there is intrigue between William, the head of a girls school, and the head of the boys school William works for. That part seemed very weak to me as the characters of the two women involved seem to change their natures radically without much precipitating reason.
I also felt like the end of the book was problematic. There was an explanation of what happened to the main character's industrialist brother, but not a resolution. The book has a secondary theme of industrial reform, as in Dickens, but it is never developed. There is a "they lived happily ever after" feeling about the book, but it falls flat.
This is always a good story for Halloween. It has to be read slowly in order to gain the true effect. I used the LibriVox recording and it was wonderfThis is always a good story for Halloween. It has to be read slowly in order to gain the true effect. I used the LibriVox recording and it was wonderful. The reader has the perfect voice to create the right kind of atmosphere. I intend to use it for Homeschool and I think I will use the LibriVox version for my granddaughter instead of letting her just read it.
The story is of a rather foppish New England schoolmaster who has high hopes of winning the hand of the daughter of a wealthy land owner with whom he has stayed with while being housed in turn amongst the local community. He spends much time looking over the countryside and imagining the time when it would all belong to him. His way was not clear though. A bruising young Dutchman named Brom Van Brunt also has his eye on the lovely Katrina Van Tassel and it is not clear if she bestows her attention on the schoolmaster because she truly considers him a suitor or if she is trying to make young Brom Bones jealous.
On of the more enjoyable past times of the community was to tell old tales, especially that of the Hessian soldier who rides through the hills carrying his head in his arm. At the end of such a gathering of villagers during which the story of the Headless Horseman was told to great effect, the schoolmaster, Ichabod Crane, found himself having to pass through the same covered bridge in which the Hessian was often seen. Not being a very courageous at the best of times, Ichabod becomes terribly alarmed and the result of his journey becomes another chapter in the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. ...more
**spoiler alert** When I first read the story, I thought if it had been written about a woman, self-sacrificing her whole life, putting others before**spoiler alert** When I first read the story, I thought if it had been written about a woman, self-sacrificing her whole life, putting others before herself it wouldn’t have been written. Women were supposed to be self-sacrificing. Literature is full of them. In fact, women, as main characters with a strong sense of self worth, were usually the main characters just because of that trait. Most women in literature were in “supporting roles.”
What we have here, I think, is a story about a very introverted young man with absolutely no self-esteem being mistreated and misunderstood his whole life. The thing that is novel about George is that he didn’t become a twisted, evil tutor and minister. He was actually a very nice person who was beloved by the countless young men he tutored and very much loved by Adelina and Mr. Granville.
At first, I was a little upset about this story. It seemed to me to have a horrible ending with poor George being not only left off Santa Claus’ list but God’s list as well. Then I started writing my thoughts and I realized that he probably was much happier than I thought.
(view spoiler)[ Of course, he still had to go and find another situation which, in his life, would probably have been tainted by Lady Fareway’s vituperation and made exceedingly difficult, but since Dickens didn’t go there, I prefer to believe that one of those young men he tutored would have found out about his situation and given him a nice little parish with about 100 sweet gentle people. He could live out his life there and Mr. & Mrs. Granville would bring all their little kiddies to visit regularly and his old students would call on him from time to time. (hide spoiler)]...more