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Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre precursor set to fetch GBP 300k

15th December 2011

A recently discovered mini-manuscript that Charlotte Bronte wrote as a precursor to Jane Eyre is expected to fetch over GBP 300,000 at auction today.

The unpublished work is included in issue two of The Young Men's Magazine, which Bronte wrote in her teens as she began constructing an imaginary world along with her siblings.

Literary experts have described the work as hugely important, as it sheds light on her literary development, with the 19 pages comprising over 4,000 words expanding the Jane Eyre universe.

One of the short stories is the precursor to the famous passage in which Mr Rochester's insane wife, who lives in the attic, sets fire to his bed.

Andrew McCarthy, director of the Bronte Parsonage Museum, said it was 'the most significant manuscript to come to light in decades'.

Literature lovers and a number of avid Bronte collectors are expected to be present at the auction today, which takes place at Sotheby's in London.

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