Charlotte's little book
AUCTION DAY UPDATE: Thank you so much to everyone who donated and supported this campaign. We are delighted to announce that we were successful at auction and Charlotte's little book is coming home! As we have achieved our aim of acquiring this unique manuscript, we respectfully ask that no more pledges are made. Thank you again - we couldn't have done it without you.
On Monday, 18 November, a tiny manuscript by Charlotte Brontë will be sold at auction in Paris. The little book, dated 19 August 1830 and no bigger than a matchbox, is packed with stories and advertisements written in Charlotte's own hand.
This little book is expected to sell for at least £650,000. It came up for auction once before, just eight years ago, only to slip through our grasp and disappear into a private collection. It has barely been seen since.
We’re determined this time to succeed in bringing it home - to the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth, where all those years ago, Charlotte carefully folded and stitched the little magazine into its brown paper cover and filled it with over 4000 tiny written words. Here it will be enjoyed by visitors and explored by scholars – and shared with our friends, members and Brontë enthusiasts around the world for generations to come.
We are urgently raising funds to purchase this extraordinary and rarely-seen manuscript so that it can be displayed at Charlotte's former home, now the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth, so that it can inspire visitors and scholars for generations to come.
Why does this little book belong at the Brontë Parsonage Museum?
This is one in a sequence of six little books, of which five are known to survive. We already hold the other four in our world-class collection and these precious manuscripts are among our most loved and treasured exhibits.
This little book is of immense scholarly interest, charting Charlotte Brontë's development as a writer and revealing early themes that carry over into her published work. It is a genuine treasure, of enormous significance within our national literary heritage and we believe its rightful home is here, where it was created.
Buying something at auction...
We’ve been working hard for months to raise enough funds to make a competitive bid at auction. We’d love to tell you exactly how much that is, but that wouldn’t be a wise thing to do, as we don’t want to tell other bidders what we’re planning! So please forgive us for not broadcasting how high we are prepared to go.
And unfortunately, we can’t be certain of success: if we are outbid, your funds will automatically be returned to you soon after the 18th November.
Let's make sure that doesn’t happen.
These three weeks are our last chance to put together a winning bid. THANK YOU for supporting our campaign – here’s to welcoming Charlotte's little book back home!