Keats and Bronte’s manuscripts sell for record breaking prices at auction
Amongst the collectible this year, which has seen a surge in demand, is original manuscripts dating back in history, with each marking significant chapters of the past. The most recent recall of a significant manuscript going up for auction, has been Juan Latino manuscript that was estimated to sell for around $60,000. Latest reports now reveal that the recently held auction of Charlotte Bronte and John Keats manuscripts have sold at record prices. As a part of the Roy Davids Collection Part III: Poetry: Poetical Manuscripts and Portraits of Poets auction event, the John Keats manuscript from his early poem ‘I stood tiptoe on a little hill’ sold for £181,250 ($278,128), and Charlotte Bronte’s ‘I’ve been wondering in the greenwoods’ bought in £92,450 ($141,864), both of which stood to be record breaking prices for their works.
In terms of the Charlotte Bronte poem, this 3 x 3 inch piece of paper is known to have been written when the author was 13 years old, in December 1829. The writing on the piece of paper is seen to be very small in size, and research points to a shortage of paper during those days, that prompted the author to scribble something in such small writing. She later went to be one of the Bronte family members, whose works became a success with the children of that age. However, this particular manuscript can be read, but mainly with the help of a magnifying glass.
John Keats early work manuscript of the ‘I stood tiptoe on a little hill’ is perhaps the last of the manuscripts of the author to be offered at auction. This literary memorabilia is actually a part of the 13 pieces with 22 fragments of the poem, which the poet’s close friend Charles Cowden Clarke had created, as a remembrance of the author and distributed amongst the friends and family of the author. Though the other pieces are difficult to locate, but mostly probably are located with institutions like Harvard, British Library, Pierpoint Morgan Library, Berg collection, Free Library of Philadelphia, and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.
This script, containing the handwriting of the author on both sides, shows how good he was at recreating pastoral scenery. The inspiration is reportedly a summer day in July, 1816 after which he left Margate, where he stayed for numerous years. The final completion however is not known exactly, but the autographs suggest December 1816, a few months before it’s publication as a volume in March 1817.