London: Smith, Elder & Co., 65, Cornhill, 1857. First Edition. Original Cloth. Single-volume issue of Charlotte Bronte's first book, overshadowed by the later successes of Jane Eyre, Shirley, and Villette, and only published posthumously, in 1857. Thick crown 8vo (196 x 118mm): viii,294, 2,,258,,8,24 [publisher's catalogue, date April, 1859.]pp. Publisher's secondary binding of dark green morocco-grained (diagonally run) cloth, covers decorated and ruled in blind, spine lettered and decorated in gilt, pale yellow end papers (also bound in cloth with grain running horizontally and off-white end papers). Diamond-shaped Westleys & Co. bookseller ticket ["Bound by / Westleys / & Co. / London"] to rear paste-down, in the design used from 1860-c.1865. Top edge dust-soiled, ownership name to fly leaf partially erased, else a superb example, tightly bound in original cloth and exceptionally clean throughout. Smith 7. Fine / `. Item #BB2336
After the devastating commercial failure of the Brontës's Poems (only two copies sold), Charlotte began circulating the manuscript of her slim first novel, The Professor, a roman-o-clef based on her experiences in Brussels, where she studied as a language student, in 1842, at Constantin Héger’s school for girls. "In the novel William Crimsworth, an Englishman, becomes a teacher in Brussels and falls in love with a fellow teacher. Crimsworth is based on Héger, to whom Brontë was devoted. In her novel Villette (1853), she used plot material from The Professor and expanded the character of Crimsworth into that of Paul Emanuel." (Britannica) Smith notes that 719 copies of the unsold two-volume first edition sheets were bound into a single volume. N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, carefully preserved in archival, removable mylar sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. (Fine Editions Ltd is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and we subscribe to its codes of ethics.).