Charlotte Bronte early manuscript at auction for $67,500

The manuscript of one of Charlotte Bronte's earliest poems is to sell in Bonhams' highly-anticipated sale of the Roy Davids Collection on April 10 in London.

Charlotte Bronte poem manuscript auction
The tiny size of the poem is thought to have been an attempt to hide its contents from Charlotte's parents

"I've been wandering in the greenwoods" will sell with a £40,000-45,000 ($60,000-67,500) estimate. As with many of her early efforts, the young writer produced the work on a small slip of paper that cannot be easily read without a magnifying glass.

The poem has been signed C Bronte and is dated 14 December 1829, when she was just 13 years old. It was first published in The Young Man's Intelligencer, which was edited by Charlotte's brother Bramwell until 1829, when she took over as editor.

The tiny poem can expect strong bids come sale day, as one of only four manuscripts by the Jane Eyre author currently remaining in private hands. The majority are housed in institutional collections, from which they are not likely to surface any time soon.

In 2011, another of Charlotte Bronte's miniature manuscripts sold for £690,850 ($1m) at Sotheby's. The small size of the manuscripts is attributed to the fact that paper was costly, and that all of the Bronte children were short sighted so that, while they were able to read their own writing, their parents and aunt could not.

Roy Davids' collection is one of the most important holdings of poetry ever to come to the market, with the manuscripts for Oscar Wilde's Les Ballons, Auden's Stop the Clocks, the last Keats' handwritten poem and a rare Winston Churchill effort also appearing.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a fine selection of rare books and manuscripts for sale, including a superb limited edition signed copy of Virginia Woolf's Orlando.

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