In 2011, a tiny, hand-written book by Charlotte Brontë was auctioned at Sotheby’s. It formed part of the second series of The Young Men’s Magazine, consisting of six issues, four of which were held at the Brontë Parsonage Museum. Despite a very high-profile and successful fundraising campaign, the museum was outbid at the auction and the little book was acquired by the Aristophil collection in Paris. 

In 2018, museum staff were alerted to the fact that the little book was likely to come back on the market. In November 2019, following a second fundraising campaign, the Brontë Parsonage Museum was successful in purchasing the little book at auction in Paris.

Join Ann Dinsdale and Rebecca Yorke from the Brontë Parsonage Museum as they discuss the literary and cultural significance of the little book and other Brontë treasures, the political implications of private ownership versus public preservation, and their incredible campaign to bring the book back to Haworth.

Contributors

Headshot of Ann Dinsdale

Ann Dinsdale

Ann Dinsdale is Principal Curator at the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth, where she works on organising exhibitions and caring for the collections. She is a contributor to The Brontës in Context and A Companion to the Brontës, and author of At Home with the Brontes: The History of Haworth Parsonage and its Occupants.

Headshot of The Bronte Society Director Rebecca Yorke stood in front of a bush with pink flowers on it.

Rebecca Yorke

Rebecca Yorke is the Interim Director of the Brontë Society and the Brontë Parsonage Museum.  Following an acting career spanning ten years, Rebecca gained skills and experience through a variety of roles in the arts sector before becoming director of Hebden Bridge Arts Festival. She then spent three years at a rural regeneration organisation supporting arts and tourism businesses.  

Rebecca has worked at the Brontë Parsonage Museum since 2015.  She works closely with senior colleagues on business planning, fundraising and advocacy and also leads the team responsible for audience development, learning, outreach, and the events programme.

Rebecca is also Vice Chair of Northern Broadsides Theatre Company where she has been a trustee since 2019.   She is mother to two busy teenage daughters and likes to spend weekends exploring the local countryside or trying (usually unsuccessfully) to bring order to her garden.