March 02, 2013
"I've been wandering in the greenwoods" — First line of 13-year-old Charlotte Brontë's handwritten poem, expected to bring up to $67,000 at auction
Below, excerpts from Ron Charles' story in yesterday's Washington Post.
A tiny slip of paper [top] containing a handwritten poem by 13-year-old Charlotte Brontë is expected to fetch as much as $67,000 when it goes to auction next month in London, according to the Telegraph.
The newspaper quotes a spokesman for the Bonhams auction house saying, "Poetical manuscripts by Charlotte Brontë are extremely rare — only two others have been sold at auction in 40 years or more."
The poem, which begins, "I’ve been wandering in the greenwoods," is dated December 14, 1829. (Brontë died in 1855.) The auction house describes it as written on a 3-inch square piece of paper in handwriting that "cannot be read easily without a magnifying glass."
Erik DuRon, a manager of Bauman Rare Books in New York, has not seen this particular manuscript, but he said by phone that "Brontës are extraordinarily popular. Such material comes on the market infrequently at best."
Juvenilia, such as this poem by a famous author when she was just 13, is of particular interest to "collectors who focus on individual authors and go deep," DuRon said. "In as much as first editions and manuscript material from any period bring us closer to the mind of the author, juvenilia has a special claim to bringing us that much closer to their psychology and their early development."
The Brontë manuscript, part of a collection amassed over many decades by the poet and scholar Roy Davids, will go on sale on April 10.
Below, the text of the poem, dated by her 14 December 1829 and signed "C. BRONTE."
March 2, 2013 at 08:01 AM | Permalink
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I just reread Jane Eyre after having seen a version with Samantha Morton and Ciaran Hinds that I really enjoyed. (The Orson Welles/Joan Fontaine version is, of course, where I first fell in love with Mr. Rochester.) The book is so beautifully written, language so intelligently eloquent if not somewhat self-aggrandizingly British. I would love to own this, but given the price tag a reasonable copy, nicely framed, would do.
Posted by: tamra | Mar 3, 2013 12:03:12 AM
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