Brontë’s letter to fan sells for £24,000

A letter written and signed by Charlotte Brontë to a fan of her classic novel Jane Eyre has sold at auction for £24,000.

It was expected to fetch up to £12,000 in the sale in Edinburgh, but competitive bidding drove it up to double that price and it was bought by an anonymous bidder at the Lyon & Turnbull sale.

In the letter, which is dated January 19, 1853, two years before her death while pregnant, the author thanks pharmacist David Waldie for his praise.

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Waldie, from Linlithgow, West Lothian, wrote to Bronte after being impressed by Jane Eyre, published in 1847 under the pseudonym Currer Bell.

Brontë replied in her letter: “The sincere affection of a reader’s gratification is – I scarcely need to say – one of the much acceptable favours in which an author can be repaid for his labours.

“I shall be glad if any future work of mine gives you equal pleasure to that you speak of having found in Jane Eyre.”