The story, as well as a poem, was discovered in her mother's possessions
A previously unpublished short story and poem by Charlotte Brontë has been discovered in a ‘much-treasured’ book owned by the author’s mother.
The manuscripts, which feature themes of flogging and embezzling, were discovered in a book belonging to Maria Brontë, The Remains of Henry Kirke White, by Robert Southey,in which she had stuffed sketches, drawings and writings by the family – including that of a teenaged Charlotte.
The Guardian reports that the book has now been acquired by the Brontë Society, with a spokesperson saying: ‘We knew the book existed but we didn’t know it had these papers in it. They’ve never been published or come to light before.’
The book was eventually sold after the death of Charlotte’s father Patrick in 1861, travelling to America, where it was acquired by an American book collector.
Ann Dinsdale, collections manager at the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth, where the volume will be displayed, called it ‘hugely important’ and ‘one of the most significant Brontë items to come to light in many years’, saying that the book ‘was clearly well-used and of great sentimental value to the Brontë children, who lost their mother while they were very young. In addition, the unpublished writings by Charlotte offer new opportunities for research, which is really exciting.’
The question we’d like to ask is: when do we get to read it?