Saturday, December 17, 2011

Charlotte Bronte's Juvenilia

I am gratified and interested when I hear about literary treasures selling for millions. In an e-book infested, computer dominated world, it reinforces that perhaps printed books are still valuable and worthwhile. A while back I wrote about a first edition Edgar Allen Poe selling for a whopping 662,500. Poor Edgar didn't have a penny when he died, and would be shocked.             

The book in question is a work written by Charlotte Bronte when she was just 14 in 1830, entitled "The Young Men's Magazine, Number Two." When I read and studied English literature in college,including "Jane Eyre" and "Wuthering Heights," I remember discussing juvenilia. Juvenilia is a work written by a subsequently famous author, while still a child or teenager. Charlotte and her sisters Emily and Anne wrote many such works.

A museum in Paris ended up outbidding the Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth, Yorkshire England for 1.07 million. Too bad, it seems the little book certainly does belong in a dark parsonage on the windy moors, but at least it is well preserved in Paris. The book contains some precursors to Bronte's later "Jane Eyre."

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