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“‘I seemed to possess two wives’: Implied Narrative in Charlotte Brontë’s The Professor”
Helen H. Davis
Journal of Narrative Theory, Volume 45, Number 2, Summer 2015, pp. 193-219
In the Preface to The Professor, Charlotte Brontë stated that she set out to create a hero who would “work his way through life as [she had] seen real living men work theirs. . . . As Adam’s son he should share Adam’s doom—Labour throughout life and a mixed and moderate cup of enjoyment” (1).1 I propose that Brontë went a step further. By the novel’s close, the “hero” William Crimsworth is not laboring alone. This novel, which is presented as a working man’s story, also makes way for a working woman. Crimsworth’s wife Frances Henri continues working after she marries Crimsworth, and proposes to her husband starting a school because she is dissatisfied that he makes more money than she does. Though she performs the expected domestic “labour,” running her household and birthing and mothering a child, and although Frances and Crimsworth share the same profession—teaching—Frances negotiates with him to run a school by herself, allowing her to have professional autonomy while married. However, Frances’s extraordinary story of empowerment is not overtly narrated, only becoming manifest when the reader pieces together ...
Napoleonic Periodicals and the Childhood Imagination: The Influence of War Commentary on Charlotte and Branwell Brontë’s Glass Town and Angria
Victorian Periodicals Review, Volume 48, Number 4, Winter 2015, pp. 469-486
The impact of the Napoleonic Wars was keenly felt by Charlotte and Branwell Brontë in their post-war juvenilia (1829‒39). Their imaginary worlds of Glass Town and Angria were primarily based on the Duke of Wellington and Napoleon Bonaparte. The siblings used post-Waterloo accounts in periodicals to reshape and reanimate the relationship between these two military heroes. Examining the characteristics imprinted on Wellington and Bonaparte by the contemporary press, this article argues that the Brontës’ writings provide important commentary on the worship of soldier figures in the periodical press and its enduring influence on early nineteenth-century popular culture.