Unpublished Bronte manuscript sells for $1 million

15th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

An unpublished manuscript by a 14-year-old Charlotte Bronte, who went on to write "Jane Eyre", sold at auction in London on Thursday for a record £690,850 ($1,069,000, 822,900 euros).

Sotheby's auction house said the sale, at more than double the guide price, was the highest ever price at auction for any literary work by Charlotte Bronte or her two famous sisters, Emily and Anne.

The miniature manuscript, titled "Young Men's Magazine, Number 2" and dated August 1830 was bought by the Museum of Letters and Manuscripts in Paris and will be exhibited in January.

The manuscript consists of 19 pages measuring just 35mm by 61mm as well as the original folder and case.

It contains characters who inhabited the imaginary world called Glass Town that Bronte and her siblings created when they were growing up.

It includes a passage very similar to a scene in "Jane Eyre", the novel Bronte wrote 17 years later, in which the insane wife of the eponymous heroine's love interest, Mr Rochester, sets fire to his bed curtains.

Sotheby's director Philip Errington said: "Sotheby's was honoured to sell a manuscript of such rarity and huge literary significance, and the record price set today reflects the international interest in Charlotte Bronte's work.

"This tiny manuscript represents her first burst of creativity and provides a rare and intimate insight into one of history's great literary minds."

The manuscript was sold by a private owner.

© 2011 AFP

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