Culture / Art Republik

Charlotte Brontë Family Heirloom Going On Display

Any possession that was once owned by the famous Brontë family, is sure to command a high price.

Jul 22, 2016 | By Vimi Haridasan

In 2017, The Brontë Society will display a book that once belonged to the mother of the talented Brontë authors at the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth.

The book, a copy of Robert Southey’s Remains of Henry Kirk White, is one of the few surviving possessions that Maria Brontë held dear. As one of the few items that survived alongside her after a shipwreck, the book held sentimental value for the family. Within the book, are annotations from both Maria, her husband Patrick and other members of the Brontë family.

Some of the annotations happen to be a poem and a piece of prose by her daughter Charlotte Brontë, the author of Jane Eyre. In the author’s signature miniature handwriting, the prose contains elements from Charlotte and her brother Branwell’s fantasy world of Angria.

In 1861, following the death of Patrick Brontë, the book travelled across the channel when it was sold to a collector in the US. In 2015, The Brontë Society tracked the item down to a rare book dealer in California before buying it back for £200,000. The society was aided in funding by the National Heritage Memorial, the V&A Purchase Grant Fund and the Friends of the National Libraries. The book is currently available to view only as part of the Treasures Tours organized by the Brontë Parsonage Museum.

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