Until its recent accidental discovery, the composition (written in imperfect French, replete with misspellings and grammatical errors) has been languishing, unnoticed, in the dusty vaults of a Belgian museum for nigh-on 100 years.
Entitled L’Ingratitude, the story is dated 16th March 1842, and as such is thought to be the first piece of homework undertaken by the budding author during her educational sojourn in Belgium - where she, along with her sister Emily, took French lessons from their tutor, Constantin Heger.
Unfortunately for Charlotte, Heger was a happily married man, and her love therefore went unrequited. Her affections were not entirely wasted, however – she would go on to use Heger as the inspiration for a character in her 1853 novel, Villette.
The story is available to read, in both French and English, on the LRB website: