Bronte guardians were celebrating today after successfully bidding to buy one of the rarest Charlotte Bronte manuscripts.

They paid 50,000 US dollars at an auction in New York today for the miniature manuscript of two poems which she wrote in 1829 as a 13-year-old when living at the Bronte Parsonage with her sisters and brother.

The Bronte Society was able to bid for the lot, part of the William E Self collection, thanks to cash help from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

They were unable to stretch to the 70,000 dollars which was paid for the first edition of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights which contained Charlotte’s pencilled-in corrections.

Ann Dinsdale, Bronte Parsonage Museum collections manager, who described the auction as the “sale of the century”, was delighted.

She said: “We didn’t expect to get anything and thought we’d come away empty-handed so this acquisition of such an early and rare manuscript is great news.

“It’s an iconic piece and at last coming back to Haworth where it was first penned. We can’t wait to see it.”

Now she is waiting for the next big sale which will take place at Sotheby’s in London, on Thursday, December 17, which among the lots includes an artist’s box and a collection of pencil drawings owned by Emily and a writing desk which belonged to Charlotte, author of Jane Eyre.