Some­thing to write home about

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

ARARE book of great sen­ti­men­tal value to the Bron­tës has fi­nally been re­turned af­ter more than a cen­tury in the USA. The Brontë So­ci­ety, based at the fam­ily home in Ha­worth, West York­shire, has ac­quired it from a pri­vate col­lec­tor for £170,000, with fund­ing from the Na­tional Her­itage Memo­rial Fund, the V& A Pur­chase Grant Fund and the Friends of the Na­tional Li­braries. The Re­mains of Henry Kirke-white by Robert Southey, which be­longed to the Bron­tës mother, Maria, was one of few pos­ses­sions that sur­vived a ship­wreck off the Devon coast be­fore her mar­riage in 1812. It con­tains a Latin in­scrip­tion by her hus­band—‘the book of my dear­est wife and it was saved from the waves. So then it will al­ways be pre­served’—plus an­no­ta­tions, sketches and valu­able loose pages with a poem and a short story writ­ten by Char­lotte. The book will go on pub­lic dis­play in 2017 (01535 642323; www.bronte.org.uk). KB

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