Brontë Sisters: Fundraising campaign to bring handwritten manuscripts back to Yorkshire raises £10,000 in first week

A fundraising campaign to save handwritten manuscripts by all three Brontë sisters from falling in the hands of private collectors has raised almost £10,000 in just a week.

The campaign, led by the Brontë Parsonage in Haworth and the Brontë Society, is aiming to save items from the Honresfeld collection, which also includes literary treasures linked to Jane Austen and Robbie Burns, from being auctioned at Sothebys.The London auction house has offered a stay of execution to organisations connected with the authors to raise the £15m needed for the total collection to be saved for the public.

The Parsonage and the society’s campaign has a target of £25,000 to reach by the end of October, and on Sunday night some £9,686 had already been donated.

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Brontë treasures in the collection include Charlotte’s famous “little books”, a book of Anne’s handwritten poetry and a collection of 31 handwritten poems by Emily, previously believed by scholars to have been lost.

A notebook of poems handwritten by Wuthering Heights author Emily Brontë forms part of the treasure trove

The Brontë Society has written to MPs in the North asking them to pledge their support to the appeal and if enough money is raised, the manuscripts will be divided between Haworth, the British Library and the University of Leeds.