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Bronte Society Reclaims an 'Absolute Highlight'

'Jane Eyre' author Charlotte Bronte's 1830 'little book' scooped up by Parsonage Museum in auction
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2019 4:50 PM CST
This book cover image shows "Charlotte Bronte: A Fiery Heart" by Claire Harman.   (Alfred A. Knopf via AP)
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(Newser) – The Bronte Parsonage Museum has in its possession four surviving "little books" written in 1830 by Jane Eyre author Charlotte Bronte, and it just got its hands on a fifth. The BBC reports that for about $860,000, which included fees, the Haworth museum run by the Bronte Society emerged as the winning bidder in the Paris Drouot auction of the The Young Men's Magazine, which the New York Times describes as a "19-page, 4,000-word manuscript" that measures 1.5 inches by 2.5 inches, or about the size of a matchbox.

Bronte wrote the series when she was 14 for the toy soldiers she and her siblings played with. The Times notes the museum tried to scoop up this particular little book in 2011 in a Sotheby's auction, but the Museum of Letters and Manuscripts in Paris got it instead for $1.1 million; that museum later shuttered after being accused of conning investors. The Parsonage Museum's curator calls its newest acquisition an "absolute highlight" of her tenure there. No one has knows where the lone missing Bronte little book disappeared to. (Read more Charlotte Bronte stories.)

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