Leeds & West Yorkshire

Bronte letters returning to Haworth after £185,000 sale

Letter written by Charlotte Bronte
Image caption The letters were loaned to Bronte's biographer by one of her friends

A rare collection of letters written by Charlotte Bronte is to return to the writer's West Yorkshire home after they were bought at auction for £185,000.

The recently discovered letters, which were expected to fetch between £100,000 and £150,000, were bought by The Bronte Society at Sotheby's in London.

They will be returned to the Jane Eyre author's former home in Haworth, which is now the Bronte Parsonage Museum.

The six letters were written between 1832 and 1854. Bronte died in 1855.

School friend

Ann Dinsdale, collections manager at the museum, said: "These are amongst the most significant Bronte letters to come to light in decades.

"They belong in Haworth and we are delighted that both scholars and members of the public will now have the opportunity to study and enjoy them, either here at the Bronte Parsonage Museum, or through our online resources."

Bronte's closest confidante Ellen Nussey, who she met as a pupil at Roe Head school in 1831, is the recipient of all but one of the six letters.

The letters were among a collection loaned by Nussey to Bronte's biographer Elizabeth Gaskell in 1857.

They were discovered in a first edition copy of Gaskell's two-volume biography, from a private collection, which was also included in the auction lot.

The Bronte Society were able to buy the lot following a £198,450 donation from the National Heritage Memorial Fund.

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