The little books created by the teenage Charlotte Brontë, barely the size of matchboxes yet overflowing with intricate, exquisite prose that belies her tender years, are truly the crown jewels in Yorkshire’s considerable cultural treasure house.
The return of one of them to the parsonage at Haworth where Charlotte wrote it nearly two centuries ago, is as significant an event to the creative world as Brexit is to the political universe.
The Brontë Society had paid €600,000 for it at auction in Paris last November, and few who see it can doubt its worth.
Indeed, some of those who have already done so have been overwhelmed at the clarity of the window it opens on the soul of one of the world’s great literary figures.
The book, into whose 20 tiny pages Miss Brontë has managed to squeeze more than 4,000 words, is one of six and as the parsonage museum opens after its winter break, it is at last available for everyone to view, alongside the four others known to exist.
Many trusts and funding bodies contributed to its purchase, but it was the £85,000 from individual supporters that speaks most to the enduring popularity of the Brontë sisters.
It is a legacy that time cannot dim.