My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The Professor was Charlotte Brontë’s first novel, and honestly it isn’t nearly as magical as Jane Eyre or Villette. In fact, Charlotte Brontë reworked some of the material from The Professor into Villette, especially thematic material regarding being a teacher in Belgium. I recommend reading Villette before The Professor so that you can see the magic of the former and then see the latter as a step in Brontë’s development as a novelist.
The most obvious thing missing from The Professor is the strong heroine Charlotte Brontë does so well in some of her other novels. The Professor has a male protagonist. That is all well and good, but there is just something terrific about Brontë’s heroines that can’t be missed.
Another thing that holds The Professor back is its negative view of Catholic characters and flirtation with English nationalism. These ideas may be a turn off to some readers.
Bottom Line: The Professor is a decent novel, but it is more interesting to read and regard Brontë’s development towards writing her better novels than it is to read in its own right.