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Museum wants to buy Bronte manuscript

Nov. 14, 2011 at 5:03 PM   |   Comments

LONDON, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- England's Bronte Parsonage Museum says it is raising funds to buy at auction an unpublished manuscript written by Charlotte Bronte when she was 14.

The BBC said Sotheby's estimates the 4,000-word "Young Men's Magazine No. 2" will fetch about $477,000.

"It's certainly the most significant Bronte manuscript to come to light in decades, but we should also see this as a national treasure with significance to our broader literary heritage," museum director Andrew McCarthy told the British broadcaster.

"It would be very sad indeed if this wonderful manuscript was not repatriated or was again lost to a private collection," he said. "We feel very strongly that it belongs here in Haworth and we're appealing for people to get in touch if they can help us raise the funds to make sure it does return. It's very difficult for us to compete in a market where these items can fetch such high prices and we need the support of organizations and individuals to make sure that they are returned to Haworth."

The manuscript features several fictional stories, including a scene in which a male character's insane wife sets his bed chamber on fire, the BBC said. The incident would eventually appear in the author's classic 1847 gothic romance "Jane Eyre."

The manuscript is to be auctioned off by Sotheby's in London Dec. 15.

Also the author of the novels "Villette" and "The Professor," Bronte died in 1855. She was 38.

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