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Tiny manuscript by 13-year-old Charlotte Bronte to be returned to Yorkshire

A miniature manuscript by 13-year-old Charlotte Bronte is returned to her Yorkshire home after being bought by a charity.

The last of more than two dozen of the famous ‘little books’ known to be privately owned has been bought for $1.25 million (£973,000) after being sold for the first time in more than a century had appeared.

It will now be donated to the Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth, its buyers have confirmed.

The 15-page manuscript, smaller than a playing card, is dated December 1829 and is bound in its original brown paper binding.

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The Front Page (James Cummins Bookseller)

It measures 3.8 x 2.5 inches and contains 10 poems. Its buyers have said it is “inch for inch, possibly the most valuable literary manuscript ever sold”.

It was last auctioned in New York in 1916, where it sold for $520.

Its whereabouts – and even its survival – were unknown until it was revealed in New York last week.

The British literary charity Friends of the National Libraries (FNL) has now been confirmed as the buyer.

Ann Dinsdale, chief curator at the Bronte Parsonage Museum, said she was “absolutely thrilled” with the news.

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The Table of Contents of A Book of Ryhmes (sic) (James Cummins Bookseller)

She said: “It is always emotional when a Bronte family item is brought back home and this final little book, returning to the place where it was written when thought lost, is very special to us .”

The miniature books created by Charlotte Bronte and her siblings as children have long been objects of fascination for Bronte researchers and fans.

Thrown on their own resources in Haworth, where their father was vicar, the four Bronte children, Charlotte, Anne, Emily and Branwell, developed an elaborate imaginary world.

They wrote tales of adventure, drama, and verse in handmade manuscript books filled with tiny handwriting intended to resemble printing.

This narrow, enchanted world of her child’s imagination fed into the creation of some of the most famous and beloved novels ever written, including Charlotte’s Jane Eyre; Emily’s Wuthering Heights; and Annes Agnes Gray and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

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It was not known if the manuscript had even survived until recently (James Cummins Bookseller)

Entitled A Book of Ryhmes (sic) by Charlotte Bronte, Sold by Nobody, and Printed by Herself, the miniature manuscript is a collection of 10 poems written by 13-year-old Charlotte Bronte.

It is well known in the world of Bronte research and is mentioned in Mrs. Gaskell’s Life of Charlotte Bronte (1857).

The titles of the 10 poems – including “The Beauty of Nature” and “On the Ruins of the Tower of Babel” – have long been known, but the poems themselves have never been published, photographed, transcribed or even summarized.

James Cummins Bookseller of New York City and Maggs Bros of London, selling on behalf of the owner, first offered the book to FNL, giving them several weeks to raise the $1.25 million required.

Funds were raised from more than nine donors, including the Garfield Weston Foundation and the TS Eliot Estate.

The group also raised $20million (£15.5million) last year to preserve the Honresfield Library – a famous ‘lost’ library of rare books and manuscripts on the Brontes, Robert Burns, Walter Scott and others – belonging to the Distraction intended was auctioned at Sotheby’s.

https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/tiny-manuscript-by-13-year-old-charlotte-bronte-to-be-returned-to-yorkshire-home-41585635.html Tiny manuscript by 13-year-old Charlotte Bronte to be returned to Yorkshire

Fry Electronics Team

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