Crimsworth doesn't really approve of Brussels, or either of his employers. He is lonely and friendless until he meets Frances Evans Henri, a fellow teacher at the girls school where he spends part of each teaching day. She is respectful, smart and, most importantly to Crimsworth, Protestant! (He greatly distrusts Catholics.) Unfortunately, their burgeoning relationship is thwarted by people, fortune and social restraint, but I will not spoil the ending.
There are certainly similar themes and characters between The Professor and Jane Eyre: The struggle to achieve fortune and respect in a corrupt culture, strong-willed characters, and some of the dialogue between Frances and William is reminiscent of that between Jane and Mr. Rochester. There is also a strong emphasis on education and teaching. However, this book is lacking the passion and suspense that I love in Jane Eyre. Frances isn't quite as fiery as Jane and William is a weak substitute for Mr. Rochester. Like Jane Eyre, the book is peppered with strange and well-drawn characters, but not enough of them are likeable to be engaging. It reminded my a lot of Charles Dickens, whom I find difficult. There is also nothing gothic about this book, which is a shame.
It was an interesting read; however I don't think I'll be inspired to reread The Professor again and again like I am to reread Jane Eyre