The Professor was the first novel by Charlotte Brontë. It was originally written before Jane Eyre and rejected by many publishing houses, but was eventually published posthumously in 1857 by approval of Arthur Bell Nicholls, who accepted the task of reviewing and editing of the novel.
The book is the story of a young man, William Crimsworth, and is a first-person narrative from his perspective. It describes his maturation, his loves and his eventual career as a professor at an all-girls school.
The story starts off with a letter William has sent to his friend Charles, detailing his refusal to his uncle's proposals to become a clergyman, as well as his first meeting with his rich brother Edward. Seeking work as a tradesman, William is offered the position of a clerk by Edward. However, Edward is jealous of William's education and intelligence and treats him terribly. By the actions of the sympathetic Mr. Hunsden, William is relieved of his position and gains a new job at an all-boys boarding school in Belgium.
The school is run by the friendly M. Pelet, who treats William kindly and politely. Soon, William's merits as a professor reach the ears of the headmistress of the neighbouring girls school. Mlle. Reuter offers him a position at her school, which he accepts. Initially captivated by Mlle. Reuter, William begins to entertain ideas of falling in love with her, only to have them crushed when he overhears her and M. Pelet talk about their upcoming marriage...