The manuscript volume of poems, written by the famous English writer Charlotte Brontë (1816–1855) at the age of thirteen, sold for $ 1.25 million (more than 28 million crowns) at an antiquarian fair in the USA. According to the BBC, this is the highest amount for which the work of a British author has ever been sold.
The miniature manuscript, which is less than ten centimeters high, has 15 pages. It was bought by a British charity and donated to the Brontë family museum in Yorkshire.
Charlotte Brontë was the oldest of the writer’s sister trio, her most famous work being the novel Jane Eyre, which was published in 1847. However, she wrote from an early age and a small volume of poems entitled Book of Rhymes is one of her earliest works. The manuscript was long considered lost, most recently at auction in 1916.
The book, about the size of a playing card, was bought by the British charity Friends of the National Libraries (FNL), which seeks to make available treasures of national literature sold from private hands. The manuscript is handed over to the Brontë Sisters Museum in Haworth, which operates in the former rectory where the writers wrote most of their books.
“We are absolutely thrilled to receive this exceptional and unexpected gift and thank the FNL and all the contributors for it,” said museum curator Ann Dinsdale. “It’s always very emotional when an item that belonged to the Brontë family comes back home,” she added.