15 feb. 2008

(10)

Charlotte Bronte. The Professor. c. 1846. 247 pp.

This one starts off well, as a Bilungsroman about a straightlaced orphan working in his tyrannical older brother's business. Then the young man escapes to Belgium to teach school. The plot morphs to a less satisfying Pygmalion-like plot. He falls in love with a Swiss woman with an English mother, who just needs a little more education--provided by the main character. All the 19th century talk about national characters and the strong Anti-Catholic sentiments get a little tiresome, and the quality of the prose gets noticeably worse when the action shifts to Belgium. Still, I'm glad I read this one.