Watched: ‘The Antiques Roadshow’ Charlotte’s Bronte’s Bible Speaks!

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Was watching The Antiques Roadshow, which, this week came from Blackpool Tower.  I watch it from time to time, but I especially wanted to watch it yesterday because it featured Charlotte Bronte’s Sunday school bible.  Bought from a dealer in the 1920s or 30s for 50.00, the bible is crammed packed with tiny notes by Charlotte.  The expert authenicated the writing as Charlottes, dating the bible from about 1845.    It’s estimated value? between £15,000 and £20,000!

23 thoughts on “Watched: ‘The Antiques Roadshow’ Charlotte’s Bronte’s Bible Speaks!

  1. So did the person who brought it in act surprised at the amount? I don’t know about the UK version, but invariably the people I’ve seen who are told that their piece of memorabilia is worth a fortune generally smile nicely and say how that’s nice but since it was a family treasure they wouldn’t think of parting with it. Ha!

    The Bible really should end up at Haworth. This must be one of those items that the Museum didn’t find when it was buying back Bronte bits that had been sold after Patrick died.

    1. Yes Jane he was suitably impressed (lol). He said that it was bought for £50.00 a few years ago, and the expert said that that was a lot of money then……. the owner said that that was a lot of money NOW, so one can image what he thought of the final estimate. I do agree though, Haworth Parsonage would absolutely treasure that item. People would flock to see it (me included!) I tried to find a link to youtube for you, but no one seems to have recorded that particular show, which is a shame.

      1. I saw that program today on BBC America. I wish they would have read some of her notes. The appraiser did say historians would be thrilled to see them.

  2. Hi, i would like to leave a message to the followers of bronte. I am the holder of the bible and its for sale for £30,000. iF ANYONE is intrested calle me on 07770 774 914

  3. Hi guys i would take ians reply with a pinch of salt we are the people who have the bible and that took it to the antiques roadshow as we live in blackpool and it is at this moment not up for sale but thanks for the interest and nice try ian lol

    1. Hi Dawn, Thanks for straightening that out lol! I wouldn’t part with it either…unless the Bronte Museum came up with a nice offer, that is.
      Kind Regards

    2. Dear Dawn Butterworth,

      I watched the BBC Antique Roadshow and saw with great interest
      the Bronte Bible. I am founder and director of the Lancaster Literary Guild in the Lancaster, Pennyslvania. Our address is
      113 North Lime Street, Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17602, United States. I am working with interns this semester on a Bronte exhibit and would love to include some copies of notations in the Bible that belonged to Charlotte. Is it possible to get photographs of pages that have most interesting notations for
      our exhibit here? I would be most grateful to be able to include this in our show. My email address is through our website. Thank you for getting in touch with us.

      Very sincerely,

      Betsy Hurley, director
      Lancaster Literary Guild

  4. Yeah we are not wanting to sell it at the moment and we are waiting to hear back from the parsonage for verification as this was lost years ago by my partners mother when she was very poorly. once we get that or the record from maggs from that era when it was sold after the original sale we are hoping they will show it in their museum for a time so everyone else can enjoy it too as it really is a fascinating book to see as the writing is so small and written all the way through the bible any bronte fan would love to see it. 🙂

    1. I for one will be there if the Museum displays it!!!! Fantastic that this has turned up. It looks like it has tiny drawings too? Is that right? I wouldn’t be able to get over the fact that Charlotte actually owned this! I wonder if she wrote in it when she was in church or when she was alone? Probably in church, as she’s have paper at home…or would she? they were short of paper weren’t they? fascinating, you are so lucky Dawn!

    2. Dawn, I wrote my doctoral dissertation on Charlotte Bronte’s use of the Bible in her novels, and I am currently in the final stages of preparing it for publication. You can visit the website I have listed to see that I am indeed who I say I am, and, as one of the few Bronte scholars who is also trained in Biblical literature, uniquely qualified to benefit from the contents of that Bible. I understand more than most why you would not want to sell such a priceless treasure, but I would seriously love to see it, in order to compare CB’s more personal, devotional commentary of scriptural texts with what I claim she does with them in her novels.

      So I wonder, once you are satisfied that I am on the up-and-up, if you would consent to let me travel to you, see the Bible, and be allowed to make notes on its content. I live in Houston, Texas in the US, but it wuld be worth a great deal to my scholarly work to see it.

      I hope you will reply by email to

      1. Hi, Lynda (echostains blog) I hope that she gets in touch with you Keith, this is a fascinating subject and it would be interesting to see your insights!

  5. Thankyou we think so too 🙂 no its not tiny drawings its all writing but some of it in capitals and possibly latin or something like that lol. i am not sure where she would have written it but it was her sunday school bible so if she did some teaching then thats why they would be there in the margins etc as the notes all correspond with the verse next to it etc as if she was asked a question about that and then she would read her notes or she asked the question then wrote them? i have no idea lol but we do spend time looking at it lots and trying to imagine what she would have been doing with it 🙂 the best bit is the page between the old and new testament as the whole page is full of written notes, even though the bible is falling to bits and the first ten pages are missing it really is a lovely thing to have. it is a shame though that they are missing as that would have helped us on our quest to get this verified properly but we love it 🙂

    1. Aw that’s refreshing to love it and enjoy it for its own sake. Not everythings about money, we tend to forget that sometimes. Have you had the latin interpreted yet? I wonder if it was in some sort of code of hers (with the letters mixed up) I wonder if she was bored when she was giving the lessons lol! and thought she had better get on with her ‘real work’. It’s great to speculate on this though isn’t it!!! I can almost see her writing furtively as her pupils got on with a reading or writing task she had set for them (probably something long, and tedious, giving her time to ‘get on with it…lol!)

  6. lol yeah it could be didnt think of that, i will have another look at it when my partner gets home as he has locked it away safe and see what else i can glean from it lol yeah it is great to speculate as its something that is a part of history and was used lots by another human being many many moons ago! bet she never in a million years thought people would be speculating what she was doing on those probably long sundays teaching/learning while she was writing the notes 🙂

    1. Hheheh I’d have it locked away too! Yes it is odd isn’t it to think that this (probably old and tatty even then) could hold a lot of clues to Charlottes way of working. It’s like an old shopping list of mine turning up (if I was famous that is!), people would be speculating about my diet lol!…and saying ‘she possibly couldn’t be that shape eating that!’ Well, at least peole are still talking about her after all these years, that’s the main thing eh

  7. Hi melissa, Sorry, I don’t know the answer to these questions, not being the owner of the bible. Perhaps the owner will be in touch with new info?

  8. Hi we are the owners of the bible and we have never thought that it could be Patricks as it has been passed down my partners family for the last 50 odd years as charlottes we are currently in communication with the bronte museum plus other avenues to have this verified etc hope this helps

  9. Hi Dawn, nice to hear from you! I can’t wait to hear the outcome of this story. I for one hope the bible will be authenicated, then we can all get to see it in the Museum. I can’t wait! Hope all goes well.

  10. To Dawn – You are the partner of the young man on the Antiques Roadshow. Who is he? We are in Australia and have only seen the program today but nowhere is his name mentioned. He said his Grandfather had bought the bible for 50 pounds. The bible could not have belonged to Patrick as he was not a prolific author, nor a genius; ie who else could possibly write at great length “merely” about or for a sunday school lesson? The Bronte women were fastidious, diligent and were, because of their roles as daughters of a priest, expected to be the perfect role models for young ladies. Charlotte’s writings in the bible exhibit those very characteristics.

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