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The Professor
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About the Author

Charlotte Bront (1816-55) is one of the greatest novelists of the 19th century. The author of a number of highly acclaimed and popular novels, she is best-known for her novel Jane Eyre. Heather Glen is a Fellow of New Hall, Cambridge.

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This first novel went unpublished during Bront?'s lifetime, rejected by publishers each time it was submitted despite her growing fame for such works as Jane Eyre and Shirley. It was released only after her untimely passing, when there was a great hunger for anything from the pen of this now-famous author, but it was a poor addition to her work. A critic in 1857 wrote that it was "crude, unequal, and unnatural to a fault; it has all the unripe qualities of a bad first work." And indeed it is dreary and confusing, uninvolving and filled with minutiae, and suffers from many awkward and improbable devices, not the least of which is the choice of a male protagonist to tell a tale with many autobiographical aspects. The reading by James Wilby is expert and probably as exciting and dramatic as is possible, given the material. Comprehensive literary collections will want to add this early work of a major author, but more popular collections can safely pass it by.AHarriet Edwards, East Meadow P.L., NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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