The Professor, eventually published in 1857, was actually Charlotte Bronte's first novel, completed as early as 1846. The deliberately unromantic hero is William Crimsworth - the only time the author used a male narrator - in a story based on her own experiences as a language student in Belgium. The theme was reworked with a woman as the leading character in Villette (1853) and it has always been an interesting point of comparison for keen readers of Charlotte Bronte's work. '... as good as I can write. It contains more pith, more substance, more reality, in my judgment, than much of Jane Eyre.'
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