Thursday, February 26, 2015

UK: Bookseller offers rarity that inspired Charlotte Brontë - and her pseudonym

A rare first edition of Thomas Bewick's History of British Birds belonging to Frances Currer, the woman believed to have inspired Charlotte Brontë's pseudonym of Currer Bell, has come to light.

  Dubbed 'England's earliest female bibliophile' in Seymour de Ricci's history of collectors, Frances Mary Richardson Currer's library in her family home of Eshton Hall, Yorkshire, ran to 15,000 to 20,000 volumes. Among them lay Bewick's classic of British ornithology - the work Jane Eyre is reading as Charlotte Brontë's novel opens, and whose 'enchanted page[s]' the author also celebrated in poetry.

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