Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Brontë Home a Bust at Auction

The four-bedroom birthplace home of Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë in Thornton, Yorkshire went up for auction yesterday, but as the Guardian reports, "A two-century jinx on a potential literary goldmine held true today when the birthplace of the Brontë sisters failed to reach its modest reserve price at auction. ... Sluggish bidding stopped short of £180,000 for the stone-built terrace house in the Yorkshire village of Thornton - well below offers for humbler bungalows in adjacent lots."

A jinx is believed to have settled over 72 Market Street, which has "seen successive failures as a butcher's shop, tourist centre and restaurant." Most recently, the house has been through "an unhappy spell as two flats." I guess maybe that dismal track record explains the lack of bids.

Sellers had put a reserve of £200,000 on the house, but once bidding stalled, a private offer for £178,000 was accepted. Auctioneers Tony Webber tells the Guardian "It's a strange thing. When you consider that this family gave the world the likes of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre it's hard to believe that the home in which they were conceived and born is even still available for private sale."