One of the rare Charlotte Brontë 'little books' will be returned to Haworth after a €600,000 auction win.
The incredibly rare title went under the hammer at the Drouot auction house in Paris and was purchased by The Brontë Society.
The manuscript will complete the collection already held at the Brontës’ former family home, now a museum.
The unpublished manuscript was written by Charlotte when she was just 14 years old and features three intricately hand-written stories: ‘A letter from Lord Charles Wellesley’, ‘The Midnight Song’ and ‘Journal of a Frenchman [continued]’.
This is the fifth in the series of six ‘little books’ entitled ‘The Young Men’s Magazines’.
Measuring just 35 x 61mm this tiny tome will join numbers 1,3,4 and 6 in the Museum’s collection - the location of number 2 has been unknown since around 1930.
This is the second time that The Society has attempted to return the ‘little book’ to Haworth where its journey began.
In 2011, when the book was last auctioned, the Society was outbid by a now non-operational investment scheme.
Kitty Wright, Executive Director of The Brontë Society, commented: “We were determined to do everything we could to bring back this extraordinary ‘little book’ to the Brontë Parsonage Museum and now can’t quite believe that it will in fact be coming home to where it was written 189 years ago.
"We have been truly overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from people from all over the world backing our campaign and can’t wait to have it in place with the others and on public view to the world.”
Ann Dinsdale, Principal Curator at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, adds: “That this unique manuscript will be back in Haworth is an absolute highlight of my 30 years working at the Museum.
"Charlotte wrote this miniscule magazine for the toy soldiers she and her siblings played with and as we walk through the same rooms they did, it seems immensely fitting that it is coming home and we would like to say an enormous thank you to everyone who made it possible.”
To keep updated on when the ‘little book’ will be on display, visit www.brontë.org.uk