After being hidden for more than a century, a tiny book of poems written by novelist Charlotte Bronte when she was 13-year-old was unveiled in New York on April 21. The 15-page manuscript is dated back 1829. Smaller than playing cards, it contains 10 unpublished poems and was the last of more than two dozen of the famous 'little books' known to be in private hands. According to a American weekly magazine the manuscript has been sold for USD 1.25 million.
The manuscript is hand-stitched in its original brown paper covers and is titled "A Book of Ryhmes (sic) by Charlotte Bronte, Sold by Nobody, and Printed by Herself."
Reportedly, it will now be donated to the Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth, Yorkshire.
The book has tiny handwriting, intended to look like the font of a printing press, is "impossible to read at a quick glance without a magnifying glass," wrote the New York Times’ Jennifer Schuessler.
In the table of contents, Bronte credits the poems to the imaginary authors "Marquis of Duro & Lord Charles Wellesley," then disclaims they are "actually written by me."
On the back of the title page, she wrote, "The following are attempts at rhyming of an inferior nature it must be acknowledged but they are nevertheless my best."
Take a look:
Earlier in November 2019, a Bronte miniature manuscript which was an issue of her 'Young Men's Magazine', sold for USD 850,000. In December last year, many British libraries and museums purchased a collection of books and manuscripts, including seven of Charlotte's miniatures for USD 19.5 million.
For the unversed, Charlotte Brontë (21 April 1816 – 31 March 1855) was an English novelist and poet. She was the eldest of the three Brontë sisters who survived into adulthood and whose novels became classics of English literature.