Charlotte Brontë Manuscript Goes on Sale For $1.25M

The Charlotte Brontë Manuscript is a collection of writings by English author Charlotte Brontë. The manuscript was sold at auction for $1.25 million on June 11, 2014.

The collection includes handwritten drafts of two of Charlotte’s novels, “Jane Eyre” and “Villette,” as well as numerous letters and poems. The manuscripts are currently owned by American businessman David Rubenstein.

The sale of the Charlotte Brontë Manuscript is one of the most significant literary auctions in recent years. The high price paid for the collection reflects the growing popularity of Charlotte’s work, as well as the importance of her place in the history of English literature.

Early Life

Charlotte Brontë was born in 1816, the third of six children. Her father, Patrick Brontë, was an Irishman who had come to England to study for the priesthood. He later became a curate in the Church of England. Her mother, Maria Branwell Brontë, was from Yorkshire.

Charlotte’s early life was marked by tragedy. Her mother died when Charlotte was five years old, and her two older sisters, Maria and Elizabeth, both died of tuberculosis within two years of each other.

After the death of her sisters, Charlotte and her remaining siblings, Branwell, Emily, and Anne, were sent to live with their aunt, Elizabeth Branwell. The children were educated at home by their father and aunt.

Charlotte later attended a boarding school in Yorkshire, but she was unhappy there and returned home after just one year.

Writing Career

In 1846, Charlotte and Emily Brontë collaborated on a book of poetry called “Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell.” The book was published under pseudonyms, with Charlotte using the name “Currer Bell.”

Charlotte’s first novel, “The Professor,” was rejected by publishers. Undaunted, she began working on a new novel, “Jane Eyre.” The book was published in 1847 and was an instant success.

“Jane Eyre” tells the story of a young woman’s experiences as a governess at a large estate. The novel is notable for its frank portrayal of a working woman’s life and its exploration of themes of love, morality, and religion.

Charlotte’s second novel, “Villette,” was published in 1853. Like “Jane Eyre,” it is based on Charlotte’s own experiences, this time as a teacher in Brussels.

“Villette” is a less successful novel than “Jane Eyre,” but it is nevertheless an important work of fiction. It is notable for its frank portrayal of women’s lives and its exploration of the themes of love, religion, and morality.

Charlotte’s third and final novel, “The Life of Charlotte Brontë,” was published posthumously in 1857. The book is a biography of Charlotte written by her husband, Arthur Bell Nicholls.

Later Life and Death

In 1854, Charlotte Brontë married Arthur Bell Nicholls, a curate from her father’s church. The couple moved to Haworth, where they lived together until Charlotte’s death in 1855.

Charlotte died of pregnancy-related complications shortly after the birth of her only child, a daughter who died just a few months later. She was just 38 years old.

Charlotte’s death was a great shock to her family and friends. Her sister, Emily, died of tuberculosis less than three months later. Branwell Brontë, Charlotte’s only brother, died of alcoholism in 1848. Anne Brontë, the youngest of the siblings, died of tuberculosis in 1849.

Charlotte Brontë is remembered as one of the most important writers of the 19th century. Her novels “Jane Eyre” and “Villette” are considered classics of English literature.

Why the Manuscript is Important

The Charlotte Brontë Manuscript is one of the most important literary auctions in recent years. The high price paid for the collection reflects the growing popularity of Charlotte’s work, as well as the importance of her place in the history of English literature.

The manuscript includes a number of unpublished poems and essays, as well as corrections and revisions that could be used by scholars for data analysis. The collection provides a valuable insight into Charlotte’s creative process and the development of her ideas.

The manuscript is also important for its historic value. It is one of the few surviving examples of Charlotte’s handwriting, and it is the only known manuscript in her own hand.

The sale of the Charlotte Brontë Manuscript provides a unique opportunity for scholars and collectors to own a piece of literary history.