Letter to Josephine fetches £650,000

A rare love letter written by Napoleon Bonaparte to his future wife Josephine de Beauharnais, has fetched more than $A650,000 ($NZ720,000) - five times its estimated price - in London.

The letter is said to be one of only three known correspondences from Napoleon to Josephine before they were married.

It had been expected to sell for about £50,000 but was snapped up after a fierce bidding war for £276,000.

The letter was sold as part of a collection which includes 570 handwritten manuscripts by notable figures of European history including Lord Byron, Elizabeth I, Sir Isaac Newton and Charlotte Bronte at Christie's in London.

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