A miniature manuscript written by the teenaged Charlotte Bronte is returning to her childhood home in West Yorkshire. It sold on Monday, November 18, to a British museum at auction in Paris. (See “Bidding on a Tiny Bronte Book.”)
The Bronte Parsonage Museum bid $862,600 for the unpublished manuscript, which Bronte wrote when she was 14 years old. The museum’s fundraising campaign was boosted by an appeal from beloved British actress Judi Dench.
Dench is honorary president of the Bronte Society. She had urged the public to help bring the “little book home to Haworth” by donating money.
The tiny, handwritten volume contains more than 4,000 words. Its stories are filled with characters from “Glass Town,” an imaginary world invented by the Bronte children as they played with toy tin soldiers.
The manuscript joins five other miniature books, already held by the museum.
The booklet’s folded pages are stitched into a crude brown paper cover. It fits into a tiny leather case.
The museum raised more than $108,872 in donations to supplement a fund it had already raised from other sources to bid for the manuscript.
Bronte, whose works included Jane Eyre and Villette, died in 1855.
(An employee displays a miniature manuscript dated 1830, written by Charlotte Bronte when she was 14 years old, before auction at Drouot auction house in Paris, France, November 18, 2019. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann)