Jane Eyre first edition set to realise $78,000 at Bonhams

Bonhams has announced that it will sell a rare first edition of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre as part of its June 19 auction of Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Historical Documents in London.

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

The edition at Bonhams is particularly sought after due to its remarkably original state, being untrimmed in the publisher's boards and marked with the original price of 31/6 in pencil. It is expected to sell for £30,000-50,000 ($47,000-78,000).

"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 publication: "Prices seem to be rising and it is the bicentenary of Charlotte's birth in 2016, so they are likely to continue to rise."

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

In July 2012, another first edition of Jane Eyre sold for £67,250 ($105,739) at Sotheby's.

Paul Fraser Collectibles specialises in sourcing the finest literary collectibles and rare books for sale. This superb copy of Virginia Woolf's Orlando is a limited edition, signed by the author.

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