The Professor was the first novel that Charlotte Bronte 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publisher who took on the work of her sisters in 1846 - Anne's Agnes Grey and Emily's Wuthering Heights - it remained unpublished until 1857, two years after Charlotte Bronte's death.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. Bronte'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 Bronte's later novels and a compelling listen in its own right.
What members say
An Interesting Listen
I think The Professor is well worth a listen. No, it's not as good as Jane Eyre. But honestly, how many books are?
The similarities and differences to Jane Eyre are fascinating if you get into that sort of thing.
The story is good, but not as plot driven as many readers might wish.
I very much enjoyed James Langton's narration. In my opinion, his voice sounds similar to Simon Vance.
1 person found this helpful
- Gail N.
Not Ms. Bronte's finest hour
This book is a bit tedious. The narrator cannot do a French accent at all. And the French dialog is not translated. I wanted to listen at 1.5 speed to move things along a bit, but then I would have to stop and slow down to understand what was said in French.
The story to be sure is very dated. Still Ms. Bronte has managed to capture the arrogance, self-assuredness, and impulsiveness of young men of every age. The fact that the main female character had an occupation was I guess quite the big deal for the day but of course marriage was the main event.
If you are interested to learn how miserable the lives of women were at the time and how men think they owned the world, read this. Men still believe they own the world; but today women no longer accept this as a given.