Jane Eyre first edition brings $62,000 to Bonhams

A rare first edition copy of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre has sold as part of Bonhams' Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Historical Photographs auction, which was held on June 19 in London.

Jane Eyre first edition
The bicentenary of Charlotte Bronte's birth in 2016 should ensure that the value of her finest works continues to rise


The book is particularly valued as it is untrimmed in the original publisher's grey boards. It sold for £39,650 ($61,949) against a £30,000-50,000 estimate.

Jane Eyre was the first published novel from the Bronte sisters, kick starting one of the most famous literary legacies of the 19th century.

"The value lies in this being the first edition of one of the most enduring classics of English literature," Bonhams' Luke Batterham told Keighley News.

"This particular copy is in wonderfully authentic condition. It is not elaborately rebound in calf or the more usual publishers' cloth binding, but still untrimmed in rather drab cloth-backed grey boards - presumably the cheapest way to buy it at the time of publication and a rare survivor as such."

The initial 500-strong run of Bronte's 1847 masterwork quickly sold out, according to the Parsonage Museum's Ann Dinsdale, who added to the newspaper: "Prices seem to be rising and it is the bicentenary of Charlotte's birth in 2016, so they are likely to continue to rise."

However, first editions of the book usually fetch much more at auction, with another copy selling for £67,250 ($105,739) at Sotheby's in July 2012.

The auction follows the £92,450 ($141,361) sale of a miniscule poem written by the young Charlotte Bronte at Bonhams in April.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a fantastic selection of literary memorabilia for sale, including signed letters from the 19th century's most famous writer, Charles Dickens.

Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£65,000
In stock