A miniature manuscript written by Charlotte Bronte when she was 14 years old is returning to her childhood home in West Yorkshire after the Bronte Parsonage Museum bid it for €780,000 (nearly P44 million), as boosted by an appeal from actress Judi Dench.
Bronte, whose works include Jane Eyre and Villette, died in 1855 when she was only 38 years old.
The manuscript is one of a series of periodicals written by Bronte and her sisters that they called The Young Gentleman’s Magzine—five of the six written by Bronte herself are known to survive and are already held by the Bronte Parsonage Museum. Filled with over 4,000 tiny written words, the manuscript contains stories with characters from “Glass Town,” an imaginary world created by the Bronte children.
Award-winning actress Dench, the doyenne of British theater and film and honorary president of the Bronte Society, urged the public to help bring the “little book home to Haworth.” The Bronte Parsonage Museum raised more than £84,000 (P5.5 million) in public donations to supplement a fund it already raised from other sources to bid for the manuscript.
“They’re absolutely delighted. It’s the second time they’ve tried to buy this manuscript,” says museum representative Ed Maggs, calling the piece the most evocative record and memory of the Brontes’ childhood. “To finally bring it home for them now is a great a moment.” REUTERS