Charlotte Brontë, arguably the most famous of the Brontë sisters. It comes as a shock, given the popularity of Jane Eyre, that a lost work of hers has just been discovered and published; 200 years after its original inception.
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Maria Brontë, the family’s matriarch and Charlotte’s mother, owned a notebook which was passed on to Charlotte after her death. Inside, Charlotte began her own writing. She wrote a seventy-seven-line love poem and a peculiar, dark short story lasting seventy-four-lines. The book had been acquired by the Brontë Society in 2016 for an expensive price: over £170,000 was spent to acquire this new Brontë heirloom.
Charlotte was only a teenager at the age of seventeen when she wrote these two newly discovered pieces. Researchers say that her poem is innocent enough, albeit crafted very skillfully. However, her short story follows a raging drunkard who takes out the town minister in order to flog him. These two pieces are almost complete opposites of each other; a detail that may reflect the eldest Brontë sisters current mood when she penned both pieces.
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The book has been thought to have passed from a plethora of different collectors. Charlotte’s newfound poem and short story are now available as fully published versions. Charlotte Bronte: The Lost Manuscripts may be purchased through the Bronte Society, or you could view the real physical artifact at the Bronte Parsonage Museum in Keighley, West Yorkshire.
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