someday ill be in company of all....

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Book Review : The Professor by Charlotte Bronte

Title:The Professor
Author: Charlotte Bronte
Rating: 4 out of 5

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This year my goal is to read lesser known books my favorite authors and their works which I haven't read so far..And I'm starting with Bronte as Jane Eyre is one of my favorite books ever, "The Professor" being her first book which  got published only after death as it was consistently rejected by the publishers ..You get to  feel the Bronte magic many a times , still Professor stands different in its own terms...

Unlike her other works the protagonist is a man named William Crimsworth who has a clear mind and heart of his own ..he wishes to live by his wish rather going in for the pursuit of easy wealth and luxury..His mother dies during child birth and his maternal uncle reluctantly take care of his education, after graduation he chooses not to marry his wealthy cousin much to the dismay of his relatives and thus is left to himself ..He tries to find a family in his older brother who gives him a job as a clerk in his mill , he treats him rudely, jealousy always clouds his mind that reflects in his actions..Mr. Hundsen one of his brother's acquaintance feels the pulse and worth of William steers way turning events and thus William loses his job that sets him free..He is recommended for a better job in Belgium as a teacher or "professor" in M.Pelet's school which is all boy's school in Brussels and also as a English teacher  in a girls school..Though he handles things brilliantly at the Boy's school commanding the respect of student, in the girls school things take a different turn as he staggers his way yet gaining an upper hand...Slowly and steadily he sets his life defining order that he starts to enjoy well..He comes in contact with Zoraide Reuter headmistress of the girls school, a much older lady, she tries to allure him manipulating him through her sweet words pretending care on him..Though initially he is struck by her charm and even desires to take her as his wife after spending an evening with her which had been calculatingly planned by her, but soon he realizes her true color and stays away from her charm and vile..Meanwhile William happens to meet a shy, demure student turned teacher Frances Henri..She teaches the students sewing and other needlework while taking up English class with William like other students..William is taken aback by her flawless English recital and her humbleness..Seeing a greater potential in her, he spends more time with her after classes tutoring her and engaging in healthy arguments and criticism that both find very enlightening...Now how would you like a story when there are no villain or vamp..Ms Reuter slips into the slot with her jealousy, she plays her cards well and fires Frances from her job and removes every trace of her from the school..Predictably William goes haywire searching for her in every possible away...He receives a letter from Frances that has a payment for his English classes and thanking him  for his kindness and thoughtfulness but leaves no address to reach back ( I guess that was very Victorian )...He quits his job as he learns about the marriage of Ms.Reuter and decides to move on with his will power and  his ability rather than any with any help from a third person..Okay now what happens to his love story?? well read on to know about it...

But for Bronte's style of writing that adds life and beauty to events things would have been dull and plain..Frances adds life and colour to William's otherwise plain life, which is quite infectious..Being Bronte's first novel I was really looking forward to this one and it came out with mixed feelings for me...The moments when Frances William come together you can feel Bronte at her best also when William stands firm  determined to face life ahead on his own terms, but I don't know why the book didn't sweep me off my feet like Jane Eyre...But all in all its a wonderful read if not brilliant...

1 comment:

  1. I love your commentary VB! It is personal but smart!

    I must admit that I am sometimes hesitant to read works that were rejected and not published during an authors lifetime. Even great authors have some not so great moments. Based on your commentary this does seem worthy however. I guess the fact that you seem less impressed with this as opposed to Bronte's more famous works kind of explains why this is less well known.


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