Thanks to poet Amy Lowell, the Harvard Library has come across some very tiny, very valuable literary treasures from the Bronte family.
In the 1800s, Charlotte Bronte and her sisters lost their mother and their two eldest siblings. At the young ages of 9 and 10, Charlotte and her brother Branwell then started writing plays about the adventures of their toy soldiers set in a fictional world. Soon afterwards, Charlotte’s two youngest sisters, Emily and Anne, followed with stories of their own. The siblings called themselves “scribblemaniacs,” a name that followed them into early adulthood.
Most of the Bronte family’s childhood stories ended up in hand-sewn books that stood just two inches tall. And after a donation from Lowell, Harvard Magazine is reporting that Harvard’s Houghton Library has worked hard to preserve and protect the miniature pieces. The library is set to display nine of the approximately 20 books, one of which is the beginning of a novelette called “An interesting passage in the lives of some eminent personages of the present age,” written by Charlotte under the name “Lord Charles Wellesley.” Get a glimpse of the books themselves—so teeny!—at Harvard Mag.