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The Professor

Narrated by: James Wilby
Length: 9 hrs and 27 mins
Categories: Classics, World Literature
4 out of 5 stars (44 ratings)

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Summary

Exclusively from Audible

The Professor is Charlotte Brontë's first novel albeit the last to have been published. Edited and distributed by Arthur Bell Nicholls, two years after Brontë's death, it is based on her experiences of living as a language student in Brussels.

The only male narrator and protagonist in her stories, The Professor follows the career and love affairs of William Crimsworth, a reserved but compassionate aristocrat who has been ostracised by his family and left penniless.

Well educated and eager to enthuse others, William becomes a teacher and leaves his scornful family behind to work at a boy's boarding school in Brussels. Unimpeded by his gender, unlike the female characters in her stories, Charlotte takes advantage of William's freedom to travel and delight in the pleasures of the opposite sex. Her hero becomes enamoured with the headmistress of a neighbouring girl's school and this tempestuous relationship is mirrored with the sweet and gentle bond he forges with pupil, Frances Henri.

Described by Brontë herself as possessing more 'pith, more substance' and 'more reality' than Jane Eyre, this audiobook provides greater insight into the short life of the beloved author and reaffirms that her reputation as one of the greats of English Literature, is well deserved.

Narrator Biography

James Wilby trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and later became an associate member of the institution.

He is an English actor, celebrated for appearing in films such as Maurice, Gosford Park, Howard's End and A Room with a View.

James' breakthrough performance was in the production of Privileged, in which he starred alongside Hugh Grant. This led to his being cast in the critically acclaimed Maurice, for which he won the Venice Film Festival's Best Actor award.

His stage performances include Helping Harry, Don Juan, Less Than Kind, On Emotion and The Consultant. He starred in the Royal Shakespeare Company's revival of John Osborne's A Patriot for Me, which was met with very favourable reviews.

James has also worked on the making of various audiobooks and is widely considered to be one of the greatest voices of the British drama. His audio work includes Carlos Ruiz Zafon's The Shadow of the Wind, Graham Greene's It's a Battlefield, Ian McEwan's Saturday and The Girl at the Lion D'Or by Sebastian Faulks.

©2005 BBC Audiobooks (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautfil use of the English language

I love the use of the English language, so flowery and descriptive. The story gives great insight into the minds of men and women from that period, and the codes of conduct and protocol. Unfortunately, I don't speak a word of French, so some passages get lost on me.

6 people found this helpful

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  • ilene
  • 26-12-16

Beautiful

This beautiful story and impeccable narration makes you feel as if you were a participant in a beautiful concert. Everything comes together in such a beautiful way- you won't experience such poetic writing or plot anywhere else. It's a loss for anyone who doesn't experience this joy .

5 people found this helpful

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  • Douglas
  • 31-07-16

A Charming Romance...

this posthumously published novel is every bit as good as the best of 1800s romance. Bronte at her best!

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Allyson
  • 11-05-20

A Positive Bronte!

Having been stung by Villette, and finding Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights very frustrating, I was reluctant to try another of the Bronte sisters' efforts, but this is quite different and has its appeal. The performance is masterful and literally made the listening experience one toward which I looked forward with anticipation as I sat down each evening. The values are solid, if a bit given to a female's flight of fancy when philosophizing on behalf of the male protagonist. Worth a listen.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • M
  • 19-01-15

The perfect narrator for Charlotte's great book

The professor is so underrated!! I adored it. The narrator was perfect and I found myself absolutely entranced.
Must listen!!!
You won't be disappointed

3 people found this helpful

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  • Virginia Sanden
  • 19-05-20

Exquisite

Beautifully written and beautifully read. The Brontë sisters all write with such pathos. Not to be missed!

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  • Kevalyn
  • 18-12-19

Great Book and Narrator But Too Much French

As some of the other reviews say, this might be a book that is better read rather than listened to unless you are proficient in French. The book has a lot of French in it and Brontë wrote it as if the reader would understand so there are no explanations of what was just said like in some other books.

I understood about 70% of the French and was still able to enjoy it. The narrator does a great job and Brontë is brilliant as usual.

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  • Richard Asbury
  • 19-12-18

Virtuous, steady living brings blossoming love.

The reading was supurb! The professor and Frances are an ideal happily ever after. I wish I knew Victor's life. It would have been a nice sequel.

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  • Kelly
  • 02-08-15

Least favorite bronte story

Plot felt meandering. Actor tried but couldn't make it work. The bronte sisters have done so much better

1 person found this helpful

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  • Larry G Camp
  • 21-02-15

Life well-lived is affirmed !

Very good story & narration. To think that Ms Bronte could not find a publisher until she had another book succeed is surprising. This is a sweet story about sticking to your principles and the resulting good life.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Alyssa
  • 04-04-17

The Professor Review

Narrator is quite good but the book itself is not even close to as intriguing as Jane Eyre. Very disappointed in this work in comparison.