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- Brontë Society acquires new Charlotte Brontë material

Auction of a large private collection of Brontëana
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New items connected to Charlotte Brontë returned home to Haworth this week following the auction of a large private collection of Brontëana.   
The four lots acquired by the Brontë Society comprise the address panel of a letter by Charlotte Brontë sent to her father and a portrait of Charlotte Brontë by Bloomsbury Group member Vanessa Bell.  A letter written by social reformer Caroline Norton praising Jane Eyre and speculating on its author, and an envelope addressed by Charlotte Brontë to her friend Ellen Nussey were also acquired.
Ann Dinsdale, Principal Curator at the Brontë Society said:
“We are delighted to have acquired these items for our collection.  The address panel of a letter written by Charlotte to her father and autographed by him is of particular interest.  After Charlotte’s death, Mr Brontë cut her letters into snippets to meet the many requests for samples of her handwriting that came from admirers of her books. We believe that this address panel came from Charlotte’s letter to announce her return home following Anne’s death at Scarborough.
 “The Vanessa Bell portrait of Charlotte is also an exciting addition to our collection.  It was a design for a large dinner service commemorating famous women, and was commissioned by Kenneth Clark in 1932-33. 
There were seventy-five Brontë-related lots in the sale by Forum Auctions, which took place in London on Monday.   Amongst them was an envelope addressed by Emily Brontë to Ellen Nussey, but the Brontë Society was unsuccessful in its attempt to acquire it.
Ms Dinsdale explained:
“We were very disappointed to be outbid on this particular lot.  The letter which was originally contained in the envelope is part of the collection at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, and it was hoped that the two items could be reunited and displayed at the Parsonage in 2018, the bicentenary of Emily’s birth.”
The new acquisitions will go on display at the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth next year. 
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