A TINY book of poetry written by a young Charlotte Bronte has become one of the most valuable literary manuscripts of its kind ever after a charity bought it for £973,000.

The book – which measures just 3.8 x 2.5 inches – was acquired from a private vendor by the Friends of the National Libraries, and then donated to the Bronte Parsonage Museum at Haworth where it will go on show later this year.

Given the huge price tag, inch for inch the book is being lauded as among the most valuable literary manuscripts ever to be sold.

It is part of a series created by Charlotte and her siblings depicting an imaginary world, populated with their childhood heroes.

During this time they wrote adventure stories, dramas and verse in handmade manuscript books – filled with tiny handwriting intended to resemble print.

The Friends of the National Libraries responded to an urgent appeal to purchase the work, called A Book of Rhymes, after it was put up for sale.

The charity raised the funds needed for the book – written by Charlotte when she was just 13 – in a fortnight, and then bequeathed it to the museum so it could be shown to future generations at the Brontes' home.

Ann Dinsdale, principal curator at the Bronte Parsonage Museum, said to have the book on display there would be “emotional”.

She added: "We're absolutely thrilled to be the recipients of this extraordinary and unexpected donation.

"We wish to thank the generosity of the Friends of the National Libraries and all of the donors who have made it possible.

"It is always emotional when an item belonging to the Bronte family is returned home, and this final little book coming back to the place it was written when it had been thought lost is very special for us.

"Visitors to the museum love seeing these little books and we know how inspiring they are to so many.

"Sharing this newest addition to the collection later this year is something we very much look forward to."

The 15-page manuscript, smaller than a playing card, is dated December 1829 and is stitched in its original brown paper covers.

It contains ten poems, and was one of six "little books" written by Charlotte.

Charlotte, the eldest of the three Bronte sisters who survived into adulthood, went on to write Jane Eyre 18 years later.