All book collectors have stories of exceptional books found in unpromising circumstances -- we recently reviewed Rebecca Rego Barry's book on the topic, Rare Books Uncovered -- but perhaps few can top Pia Oliver's story of discovering two unknown manuscripts by Charlotte Brontë at a remore California ranch. One weekday morning a few years ago, the phone rang in the bookstore and I answered: “Randall House, Good Morning.” A woman's voice at the other end said “I need some help. We have inherited a lot of valuable and rare books and need help us to evaluate them and dispose of them.” I said, as I usually do “Tell me about the books,” while thinking “Oh yeah, sure, you have rare and valuable books …” We get many phone calls where people tell us that they have a first edition of Darwin's On the Origin of Species, or Jane Au... [more The Thrill of Discovery]
Blog posts by Pia Oliver
Pia Oliver is an ABAA Associate Member at Randall House Rare Books.
Randall House Rare Books is pleased and proud to have successfully completed negotiations for the sale of two unpublished Charlotte Brontë manuscripts to the Brontë Society in England. The discovery of the manuscripts is called “extraordinary” by Brontë expert Dr. Juliet Barker who went on to say "It's so unusual to get unpublished manuscripts in this day and age. To find an unpublished one like this - that we had no knowledge of its existence - is extraordinary." Dr. Barker wrote the seminal history of the Brontë Family. She has further stated that there is no question about the authenticity of the material. The manuscripts and other autograph material are in a book that belonged to Charlotte's mother, Maria, titled “The Remains of Henry Kirke White” by Robert Southey. The boat carrying Maria's belongings, including this book... [more Unpublished Brontë Manuscripts Brought to Light]