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The ‘Little Book’ by Charlotte Brontë was kept for the public following a £980,000 sale

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The last of Charlotte Brontë’s ‘little books’ known to be privately owned has been preserved for the public and is on display in Yorkshire.

The miniature books were created by Charlotte Brontë and her siblings as children to entertain their toy soldiers.

The small literary works have long fascinated Brontë enthusiasts and the last privately owned book is “A Book of Ryhmes” [sic]was now bought for the nation.

The miniature books remained in the Brontë family until the 1890s, when they were dispersed.

The inscription of a young Charlotte Brontë in her book of poetry

(Friends of National Libraries/Booksellers James Cummins)

Before its reappearance, A Book of Ryhmes was last sold at auction in New York in 1916, where it sold for $520 before disappearing.

The book is probably the most valuable literary manuscript ever sold, inch for inch – measuring just 3.8 inches by 2.5 inches.

The contents page of ‘A Book of Ryhmes’

(Friends of National Libraries/Booksellers James Cummins)

It contains 10 poems and was purchased by Friends of the National Libraries after an urgent appeal for funds to help pay the purchase price.

They will donate it to the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth, Yorkshire. The museum has the largest collection of Brontë manuscripts in the world, and its collection already includes nine of the small books.

The return of the book to a public museum has been described as “a huge win for Britain”.

(Friends of National Libraries/Booksellers James Cummins)

Friends of National Libraries chairman Geordie Greig described the purchase of the booklet as “a huge win for Britain”.

“Returning this literary treasure to the Brontë Vicarage, where it was written, is important for both scholars and students studying one of our greatest writers,” he added.

The booklet contains 10 poems

(Friends of National Libraries/Booksellers James Cummins)

Brontë Parsonage Museum Chief Curator Ann Dinsdale said the museum was “absolutely thrilled to be the recipient of this extraordinary and unexpected donation.”

She said: “It is always emotional when a Brontë family item is brought back home and this final little book, returning to the place where it was written when thought lost, is very special to us .”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/charlotte-bronte-little-book-auction-sale-b2064865.html The ‘Little Book’ by Charlotte Brontë was kept for the public following a £980,000 sale

JOE HERNANDEZ

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