It’s a manuscript, written by Charlotte Brontë when she was a child, called “Visits in Verreopolis”
The four Brontë siblings, Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne, began writing in the 1820s as young children, creating imaginary worlds and miniature books in the lonely Parsonage at Haworth in West Yorkshire.
Paper was a precious commodity for the Brontë children. The blue paper covers on these tiny books were originally Epsom salts packaging from a chemist in Keighley, near Haworth. This miniature manuscript in two volumes tells two very different stories set in the imaginary kingdom of Verreopolis, or Glass Town. The first is told from the perspective of Lord Charles Wellesley as he pays visits around Glass Town, while the other is an exciting gothic fairy-tale, featuring witches, corpses and fights told to Wellesley by Captain Bud.
Both volumes of this tiny book are currently on show at a free exhibition entitled “Becoming the Brontës” in the Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery at the University of Leeds. You can read more about the exhibition here.
Full title of item:
Charlotte Brontë, “Visits in Verreopolis by Lord Charles Wellesley in Two Volumes”, 7-11 December, 1830
Brotherton Library MS 2266/01
Brotherton Library MS 2266/02
Becoming the Brontës – until 28 October 2023
Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery, University of Leeds
The Brontës are Yorkshire’s very own world-famous literary family. But how did they become the icons we know today?
This intimate display explores the creative beginnings of the Brontë siblings, from little books produced as children to poetry manuscripts and rare first editions of their most celebrated works.
Becoming the Brontës, at the Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery, brings together material from the Blavatnik Honresfield Library that has not been seen by the public for over 80 years.