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The Professor

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  16,822 ratings  ·  899 reviews
The Professor was the first novel by Charlotte Brontë. It was originally written before Jane Eyre and rejected by many publishing houses, but was eventually published posthumously in 1857. The book is the story of a young man, William Crimsworth. It describes his maturation, his loves and his eventual career as a professor at an all-girl's school. The story is based upon C ...more
Hardcover, 269 pages
Published May 1999 by North Books (first published 1857)
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Ellie Really boring and not romantic at all. Obviously it's Victorian literature and you can't expect anything like explicit love scenes, but I found the…moreReally boring and not romantic at all. Obviously it's Victorian literature and you can't expect anything like explicit love scenes, but I found the love story completely empty and I'm so happy I'm done reading it. Nobody even seems to love or want each other all that much. What should be the most romantic, momentous scene can be summarized as: "Will you marry me?" "....Ugh okay fine, I'll live with you forever. I've always enjoyed your company."(less)
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Lorraine Yes, but I'm not exactly sure of the nature of their concern. They seem to think Hunsden might be shaping Victor in some negative way, "inciting [his]…moreYes, but I'm not exactly sure of the nature of their concern. They seem to think Hunsden might be shaping Victor in some negative way, "inciting [his] pride and [his] foibles," and it's enough of a concern that Frances is described as being extremely anxious about Hunsden's influence; however, this is related in a handful of paragraphs on the last page of the novel, and I don't think we're given enough information to really determine what they're concerned about.(less)

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3.58  · 
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La Petite Américaine
Aug 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Bronte/du Maurier/Byatt Fans
Every time I finish a Charlotte Bronte novel, my heart pounds and my mind is disoriented. After reaching the end of her stories, closing her pages for the last time, and remembering the long passages written out in long-hand, it's all like slowly surfacing from the depths of another world, and you're back home in reality, not quite sure you want to be there.

Although it doesn't have the exquisite tragedy of Villette or the kick-ass karate-chop combos of romance, ghosts, crazy ladies in the attic
Henry Avila
May 20, 2015 rated it liked it
Mr. William Crimsworth newly graduated from exclusive Eton College, writes a letter to his one and only friend Charles, about his adventures since both left the school ( Charles never receives it, having departed for parts unknown). William late mother was an aristocrat but having married "beneath her," had been shunned by her family, something common in the unforgiving mid 19th century England. His father was a wealthy businessman until going bankrupt also deceased. What to do? William has an o ...more
Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
I think the best way of approaching this book is to look at is a learning curve for the author. The prose in Jane Eyre is sophisticated and eloquent; it is developed and persuasive: it is powerful, and a points simply beautiful. Charlotte’s writing in this just isn’t at the same level.

Perhaps it is because she writes from the perspective of male, a rather bland one at that. The point is there is little point to this book. Jane Eyre is rich in passion and argument. Charlotte was trying to ma
Barry Pierce
Charlotte's first attempt at a novel comes across as... well... an attempt. It can be clearly seen that elements from this novel reappear in both Jane Eyre and Villette. However this novel pretty much lacks everything that made both of those novels such classics. It's a basic 19th-century romance novel with Charlotte this time writing from a male POV. Even though this is the second shortest Brontë novel (Agnes Grey is the shortest) it still felt vastly overlong. While bits of humour seep in now ...more
Aug 21, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: classic
In the midst of life, we are in death.

Charlotte Brontë died untimely, three weeks before her 39th birthday. The Professor, the first novel Charlotte had written, was published posthumously in 1857.

“A man is master of himself to a certain point, but not beyond it.”

Orphaned in infancy, William Crimsworth had been receiving meager support from his deceased mother's aristocratic brothers. Upon his graduation from Eton, William parts away, in contempt for his abhorrent uncles and seeks employment fr
I have always found Charlotte Bronte’s anger to be subversive. The rage that drives the machine, her understanding of the particular being so needlepoint sharp that it becomes universal.

But she hasn’t got it yet. Not here. It’s all the same material, the same sentiments we’re used to, but she is at once wearing too many masks to be truthful and speaking with the memory of slights too raw for them to be useful. She can’t quite name and point to the root of her anger yet- whether that’s because h
Cheryl Kennedy
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, classic
This is Charlotte Bronte's first novel. She chose to write in a male voice with his concerns for a livelihood, his freedom to choose a vocation, authority to insist on compensation, and his refusal to accept and believe disrespectful pronouncements from others. His search for the employment that suited his soul continued his meeger existence, but his freedom to persist was unlike the females of the time.

It is for these reasons that Bronte chose a male persona for her debut. In 1846 the antithes
Skylar Burris
Dec 23, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
What if Jane Eyre had been written from the point of view of Rochester? Would he have seemed more manipulative, more self-centered? Would readers have allowed themselves to be swept away by Jane's passion, and to desire its fruition? In The Professor, Charlotte Bronte narrates the tale from the viewpoint of the male protagonist, and I must confess to finding him frequently unsympathetic. Without seeing this character from the eyes of his affection's object, it is difficult to appreciate him. He ...more
April (Aprilius Maximus)
DNF at 20%. The first 20% that I read didn’t hold my attention and I’d rather read something that I know I’ll enjoy rather than this which I already know won’t get more than 3 stars from me, ya feel me?
J.G. Keely
May 04, 2011 rated it liked it
This book starts off promisingly enough, but as the character grows less sympathetic and the plot draws out predictably, much of the charm is lost. Perhaps it was not unexpected that I would be drawn into the plight of a young, educated man thrust out alone into the world with no prospects, forced to work pointless jobs for frustratingly inept employers for subsistence. It mirrors not only my experiences, but that of most of my generation.

Unfortunately, our narrator becomes a rather stuck-up pri
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-library, brit-lit
The Professor is Charlotte Bronte's first written novel though not published till after her death. To me, it is ironical for I found a more interesting story here than in Jane Eyer.

The Professor tells the story of William Crimsworth whose circumstances turned him to a teacher and who with courage, perseverance and self control and by relying in his education, skills and intelligence lifts him up from poverty and dependency. Simultaneously it is also a sweet love story. Though this is a short no
Aug 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: brontes
Very early effort which reads like a practice run for later novels like Villette and Jane Eyre (which reminds me, I must read Villette again). It is an engaging first person narrative in which William Crimsworth describes his young adulthood and his attempts to earn his living.

We learn about his grim family and Bronte uses her experience teaching in Brussels when Crimsworth moves there to teach. Most of the novel revolves around Brussels and the world of the small teaching establishments. The no
Mar 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 hypocr
Dannii Elle
Actual rating 3.5/5 stars.

It's no Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, or The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, but is an enjoyable enough read and full of that Bronte knack for providing an in-depth societal examination without ever seeming to actually do so.
Giss Golabetoon
I didn’t ever think I will have to write a feminist review on any work of Bronte’s, but here I am.
I know Charlotte through Jane Eyre and I know her through Virginia Woolf. And we both agree that Charlotte is smart. Her ideas are smart, so are her word and her notions. This is all good, but personally I believe that smart people know better, that they cannot possibly be sexist or racist, even if they are bound by their geography and their time, I want to believe in a world where if your society i
Joseph Spuckler
May 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: british, victorian
My first Charlotte Bronte book and again I wonder how I could have missed this book or ignored this author for so long. Although Anne is still my favorite in the early part of my reading, Charlotte's The Professor follows the same form of story telling. The major characters are well developed and likable or unlikable as the case maybe. Minor characters are not developed, such as William's friend Charles.

William is the main character, an Englishman with an education who rejecting going into the c
Luís C.
It is a very nice novel who genuinely devours. I found again the pleasure of reading a book featuring young men up the sleeves facing adversity: I can not prevent me from read it something personal and soak up their energy and their hope. Brontë is probably more projected in his female heroine.

We finally found this vision of the boarding school as both a closed place subject to the tyranny of its leader and as an idyllic place.

3 & 1/2 Stars.
This was Charlotte Bronte's first novel and certainly not one of her finest works. I can see why it was rejected by the publishers several times and was only published posthumously. The novel is narrated in first person by the protagonist, William Crimsworth. It is partly set in a fictional town of Yorkshire and the rest in the city of Brussels, Belgium.

The story has a promising start, but plunges into monotony as it progresses. The protagonist's opinion of the inhabitants of Brussels makes a re
May 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
(Note to self: Approach posthumously published books with caution.)

This held a promising start for me—the description of William Crimsworth’s abuse from his uncles, his brother’s hatred, his sparse and tedious life as a clerk, and his relationship with the curious Mr. Hunsden.

Then it took a nosedive when he arrives in Belgium to work as a teacher. Charlotte lost me when she spent way too much time in condescending description of the country and each person William meets. I was bored and, frankly
Jan 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: classics
This was a slow read for how short it is. I took great pleasure in distrusting William as narrator. There is no way the sedate picture he paints of himself is a true one. I didn’t like how this book fixated on the female body. William spends a lot of time meticulously describing various women. This overall reminded me of Villette much less than I expected it to, which was a nice surprise. This was certainly less depressing than Villette - huzzah! It’s amazing to think Charlotte Brontë wrote this ...more
3.5 stars.

While this is the last of Bronte's novels to be published, it's the first one that she wrote, and it shows. There are hints in the writing of the wonderfulness to come in Jane Eyre, and there are plenty of typical Bronte touches (she really did love her phrenology, didn't she??) in the writing.

Really, I think the biggest problem with this is that it's really short. Like, 200 pages kind of short. And the first 50-ish pages is basically "MY LIFE IS SHIT, OKAY?". Once William gets to Bel
Michelle Curie
"That to begin with; let respect be the foundation, affection the first floor, love the superstructure."

I'm going to start this off saying that Jane Eyre is one of my favorite novels, and I was looking forward to reading more of Charlotte Brontë's work. It only took me a few pages to feel the comfort of her beautiful wordings and elaborate descriptions and the familiarity that came with indulging in it. It only took a few more pages, however, for that effect to wear off, and the issues I had w
Charlotte Brontes first novel, although only published posthumously is obviously, and in my opinion not her strongest work, nor is it my favourite, that being Shirley. She did however chose to have a man as her lead character, the only time she did this.
William Crimsworth (The professor) is a young man and I feel a pompous ass to my more modern way of thinking. Anyway although I'm certain she got his character, and most men of the time exactly right
I much prefer her very strong leading ladies s
I can see why Charlotte could never get this published. The Professor was her first outing as an author - her attempted first outing. And oh my does it read like a first attempt.

The way I see it, this is essentially poorly conceived Charlotte/Monsieur Heger fanfiction. For those of you who don’t know, whilst she was studying in Brussels, Charlotte became slightly obsessed with her (married) Belgian tutor, Monsieur Heger. She did eventually confess her feelings to him via a string of suggestive l
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
I enjoyed this story of the Professor and his life. I thought it was a little different for Charlotte Bronte since the main character was a man, but I liked it. However, I thought it was a little sweet, what with the nice tidy ending and all (even though I liked it!). I'm thinking that may be what Charlotte wished for her own life.
Sotiris Karaiskos
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
When the Bronte sisters handed over the manuscripts from their first books to be published, Charlotte had given this book. Unfortunately, however, while the books of her sisters eventually ended in the printing house, Charlotte's book was rejected and eventually it was not released until after her death. By finishing the reading I can say that I somehow understand this decision, of course it is not a bad book but it certainly does not show all the capabilities of the author. Charlotte wanted rec ...more
The Professor is the first novel Charlotte Bronte ever wrote, but the last to published. I feel like Charlotte was still searching for her own style when writing this story and I found it a bit less accomplished than the other novels Ive read from her, but thats to be expected. And its very entertaining nonetheless.
The main character being male brought a new view point to the books setting as Ive pretty much only read about it from the womens point of view. It was interesting to see how it migh
Feb 16, 2014 rated it did not like it
“The Professor” is in many ways the concentration of Brontë, C's chief art; it demonstrates that she could be really quite tedious even in fewer than 300 pages.

We always have to give books of the Victorian era some licence. The contemporary reader might raise an eyebrow when a phrase such as “rich as a Jew” crops up in a text, wince at the ingrained sexism of the time, or gloss over a wicked character described as dark-skinned or looking suspiciously like a gypsy (Hello, Brontë, E!), but we tend
Bojan Gacic
Sep 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
How wonderful it is to see a woman writing from a male perspective, and doing so with such authority, that we can simply nod in approbation. ''The Professor'' belongs to, what I like to call, the ''Austen/Bronte'' literary club, therefore, if one has experienced a novel belonging to the before mentioned group of socially and emotionally oppressed women, he/she will have an inkling of what's to come.

''The Professor'', besides the male protagonist, bears few dissimilarities to its predecessors. Ap
Dec 05, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf, 1-star, not-for-me
I bought this when I was 16. I started reading it immediately when I bought it. I am now 22, 6 years later, and I am still reading this.
To put it bluntly: this book was horrible. Not only is a good portion of it in France French, it was supposedly about a professor who falls in love with a student but I read 110/170 pages and that storyline didn't even start yet. Really just a terrible book that I absolutely never recommend to anyone.
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Catching up on Cl...: The Professor - Spoilers 28 66 Jun 24, 2019 02:10AM  
Catching up on Cl...: The Professor - No Spoilers 35 67 May 18, 2019 05:10PM  
Bronte Men 1 5 Sep 26, 2018 12:51PM  
Reading Addicts: * September to October Classic BOTM-The Professor 21 15 Sep 19, 2015 01:38PM  
Victorians!: The Professor - chs. XXII - XXV (end) 15 51 Jun 09, 2014 09:47PM  
Online source for English translation of French passages? 1 16 May 06, 2014 02:33AM  
Victorians!: The Professor - chs. XVI - XXI 29 36 Nov 16, 2013 06:54PM  

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Charlotte Brontë was a British novelist, the eldest out of the three famous Brontë sisters whose novels have become standards of English literature. See also Emily Brontë and Anne Brontë.

Charlotte Brontë was born in Thornton, Yorkshire, England, the third of six children, to Patrick Brontë (formerly "Patrick Brunty"), an Irish Anglican clergyman, and his wife, Maria Branwell. In April 1820 the fam
“I sought her eye, desirous to read there the intelligence which I could not discern in her face or hear in her conversation; it was merry, rather small; by turns I saw vivacity, vanity, coquetry, look out through its irid, but I watched in vain for a glimpse of soul. I am no Oriental; white necks, carmine lips and cheeks, clusters of bright curls, do not suffice for me without that Promethean spark which will live after the roses and lilies are faded, the burnished hair grown grey. In sunshine, in prosperity, the flowers are very well; but how many wet days are there in life--November seasons of disaster, when a man's hearth and home would be cold indeed, without the clear, cheering gleam of intellect.” 35 likes
“You know full well as I do the value of sisters' affections: There is nothing like it in this world.” 23 likes
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