Professor (Wordsworth Classics) Paperback by Charlotte Bronte
Edition Date: 04/01/1998
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Decription: With an Introduction and Notes by Dr Sally Minogue. The Professor is Charlotte BrontÃ« s first novel, in which she audaciously inhabits the voice and consciousness of a man, William Crimsworth. Like Jane Eyre he is parentless; like Lucy Snowe in Villette he leaves the certainties of England to forge a life in Brussels. But as a man, William has freedom of action, and as a writer BrontÃ« is correspondingly liberated, exploring the relationship between power and sexual desire. William s first person narration reveals his attraction to the dominating directress of the girls school where he teaches, played out in the school s secret garden . Balanced against this is his more temperate relationship with one of his pupils, Frances Henri, in which mastery and submission interplay. The Professor was published only after Charlotte BrontÃ« s death; today it gives us a fascinating insight into the first stirrings of her supreme creative imagination.
About author: 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the publisher who took on the work of her sisters in 1846--Anne's Agnes Grey and Emily's Wuthering Heights--it remained unpublished until 1857, two years after Charlotte Brontë's death.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.