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“The Professor” is the story of a young man, William Crimsworth, and is a first-person narrative from his perspective. It describes his maturation, his loves and his eventual career as a professor at an all-girls school.
The story starts off with a letter William has sent to his friend Charles, detailing his refusal to his uncle's proposals to become a clergyman, as well as his first meeting with his rich brother Edward. Seeking work as a tradesman, William is offered the position of a clerk by Edward.
However, Edward is jealous of William's education and intelligence and treats him terribly. By the actions of the sympathetic Mr. Hunsden, William is relieved of his position and gains a new job at an all-boys boarding school in Belgium.
The school is run by the friendly M. Pelet, who treats William kindly and politely. Soon, William's merits as a professor reach the ears of the headmistress of the neighbouring girls school. Mlle. Reuter offers him a position at her school, which he accepts. Initially captivated by Mlle. Reuter, William begins to entertain ideas of falling in love with her, only to have them crushed when he overhears her and M. Pelet talk about their upcoming marriage.
Slightly heartbroken, he now treats Mlle. Reuter with a cold civility and begins to see the underlying nature of her character. Mlle. Reuter, however, continues to try to draw William back in, pretending to be benevolent and concerned. She goes so far as to plead him to teach one of her young teachers, Frances, who hopes to improve her skill in languages. William sees in this pupil promising intelligence and slowly begins to fall in love with her as he tutors her English.
Jealous of the attention Frances is receiving from William, Mlle. Reuter takes it upon herself to casually dismiss Frances from her school and hide her address from William. It is revealed that as she was trying to make herself amiable in William's eyes, Mlle. Reuter accidentally fell in love with him herself. Not wanting to cause a conflict with M. Pelet, William leaves his establishment and moves out, in hopes of finding Frances.
Eventually bumping into his beloved pupil in a graveyard, the two reconcile. William gets a new position as a professor at a college, with an exceedingly high wage. The two eventually open a school together and have a child. After obtaining financial security, the family travels all around England and settle in the countryside next to Mr. Hunsden.
Charlotte's first attempt at a novel!
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`It is very good to have this poor relation among Charlotte's novels ... properly edited at last' Michael Slater, The English Association
'excellent Clarendon edition' Patricia Thomson, University of Sussex. Review of English Studies
Charlotte Brontë (21 April 1816 – 31 March 1855) was an English novelist and poet, the eldest of the three Brontë sisters who survived into adulthood and whose novels have become classics of English literature. She first published her works (including her best known novel, Jane Eyre) under the pen name Currer Bell.
Charlotte was born in Thornton, west of Bradford in the West Riding of Yorkshire, in 1816, the third of the six children of Maria (née Branwell) and Patrick Brontë (formerly surnamed Brunty or Prunty), an Irish Anglican clergyman.
In May 1846 Charlotte, Emily and Anne self-financed the publication of a joint collection of poems under their assumed names Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell. The pseudonyms veiled the sisters' gender while preserving their initials; thus Charlotte was Currer Bell. "Bell" was the middle name of Haworth's curate, Arthur Bell Nicholls whom Charlotte later married, and "Currer" was the surname of Frances Mary Richardson Currer who had funded their school (and maybe their father). Of the decision to use noms de plume, Charlotte wrote:
"Averse to personal publicity, we veiled our own names under those of Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell; the ambiguous choice being dictated by a sort of conscientious scruple at assuming Christian names positively masculine, while we did not like to declare ourselves women, because — without at that time suspecting that our mode of writing and thinking was not what is called "feminine" – we had a vague impression that authoresses are liable to be looked on with prejudice; we had noticed how critics sometimes use for their chastisement the weapon of personality, and for their reward, a flattery, which is not true praise."
Jane Eyre was published later and it tells the story of a plain governess, Jane, who, after difficulties in her early life, falls in love with her employer, Mr Rochester. They marry, but only after Rochester's insane first wife, of whom Jane initially has no knowledge, dies in a dramatic house fire. The book's style was innovative, combining naturalism with gothic melodrama, and broke new ground in being written from an intensely evoked first-person female perspective.Charlotte believed art was most convincing when based on personal experience; in Jane Eyre she transformed the experience into a novel with universal appeal.
Jane Eyre had immediate commercial success and initially received favourable reviews.
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