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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.
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.
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