London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1857. First edition. Two volumes with original purple cloth stamped in blind; spine ruled and lettered in gilt; spine lightly sunned; slightly skewed, with some rubbing to corners and edges; hinges tender. Previous owner’s bookplate in front pastedown of each volume; small dampstain to upper corner of Volume I front endpaper; binder’s ticket on rare pastedown of Volume I. Early ink ownership inscription on half-title and head of title in Volume II. Very Good+ Condition.
Published under her gender-ambiguous pen name Currer Bell, The Professor was Bronte's first full length novel despite being her final publication. A precursor to her more famous work Jane Eyre, it allows readers to witness the formation of key themes regarding women’s education and companionate marriage that would shape Bronte’s more mature work. Despite being rejected by multiple publishing houses until Bronte had established a firm literary reputation, The Professor fits within her oeuvre in its defiance of feminine constraint. “She expressed her outrage at the degraded status of governesses and teachers. She condemned the isolation and vulnerability of a woman who goes into the world to make her own way. She let loose her feelings, electro-magnetizing the novels with sensuality” (Schulevitz). Very Good + (Item #1982)