Amy Rowbottom, a member of the curatorial team at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, this week tweeted about the NHMF report. She wrote: “@BronteParsonage thrilled to see the generous grant we received in the NHMF's latest report. Thank you!” She later told the Keighley News that Mrs Brontë’s Book was a significant acquisition by the society.
The book was bought earlier this year with added financial support from the V&A Purchase Grant Fund and the Friends of the National Libraries. Members of the Brontë Society were treated to a first glimpse of the book at their annual summer festival.
The NHMF report stated: “After Mrs Brontë’s early death the book became a treasured family item. “The book contains annotations and sketches by members of the family, as well as an unpublished poem and fragment of prose written by Charlotte Brontë. “The book evidently was shared and valued by the whole family as a memento of their mother. “The book was when Maria Brontë’s possessions were shipwrecked off the Devon coast shortly before her marriage to Patrick Brontë in 1812.
“It contains Latin inscriptions in Patrick’s hand stating that this was “the book of my dearest wife and it was saved from the waves. So then it will always be preserved.” The book was sold at the sale held at the Parsonage following the death of Patrick Brontë in 1861 and spent most of the last century in the USA. Ann Dinsdale, collections manager at the Parsonage Museum, believes Mrs Brontë’s book is one of the most significant Brontë items to come to light in many years.