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    Thursday, December 16th, 2021
    Robert Burns First Commonplace Book

    The most important Brontë material to come to light in a generation and two of the greatest Scottish manuscripts in private hands are among a treasure trove of English and Scottish literature at the Honresfield Library saved for the nation in the UK. The Friends of the National Libraries (FNL) has just announced that it has successfully raised over £15 million to acquire the historic manuscripts and books which includes manuscripts by the Brontës, Jane Austen, Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott. FNL will donate every manuscript and printed book to libraries and writers’ houses across the UK so that they are accessible to everyone.

    Earlier this year Sotheby’s announced that the manuscripts, first editions, letters and bindings that make up the legendary Honresfield Library – assembled with passion by self-made Victorian industrialists William and Alfred Law at the turn of the 20th century – were to be offered at auction in a series of three sales starting in July 2021. Working together with the UK charity FNL Sotheby’s agreed to postpone the commencement of the auctions to allow for negotiations for the entirety of the library to be acquired by a consortium of institutions for the nation.

    Following the appeal to public and private donors over the course of the past few months, FNL has successfully raised over £15 million to purchase the library for the nation.

    (See posts on for May 25 and June 17, 2021)