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    Harper Lee sends condolences to the family of her literary agent Maurice Crain and describes their last days together

    Harper Lee Autograph Letter Signed with Original Envelope Containing a Second Full Signature in the Return Address. "Nelle." Two pages (on two sheets of stationery), 5.75" x 7.75", West Brattleboro, Vermont, May 3, 1970, to Mrs. Bill Frost, family of Maurice Crain's wife. Crain was Lee's first literary agent, and integral figure to the publication of Lee's Southern Gothic masterpiece, To Kill a Mockingbird. In 1956, Lee sent Crain a few short stories, with him rejecting all but one. Crain encouraged her to write a novel, and after much guidance and revision, the manuscript that was Go Set a Watchman became the aforementioned giant of American literature. A relationship developed between Harper Lee and Maurice Crain that began simply as an agent mentoring a writer, then blossomed into a sincere friendship lasting until Crain's death in 1970. Penned just after Crain's passing, Lee offers her heartfelt condolences. In full:

    "Dearest D.J.:
    This is simply to say that Maurice loved you very much - almost his last understanding of anything was his fear that one of the tornadoes had hit White Deer. When I convinced him that everybody was safe, two big tears ran down his cheeks, and he breathed a long sigh of relief.

    One of his happiest memories was the time we spent in Texas, and we were hoping against hope that we could return, but it just wasn't to be. For the last six months he wasn't able he wasn't able to be up half a day, but that tenacious spirit lived in him until his last breath. The morning he died I found him with the covers off trying to get out of bed. Of course he was too weak to move anything but his hands, but he was still trying!

    Don't let's ever lose touch. You, Charlotte, and your parents are my last earthly tie with him, and I have grown to think of you as my own.

    I'm in Brattleboro for a few days, then back to New York, then home to Alabama for a long time. If the Frosts can board their cows out, why not think of seeing the decadent South? The fishing is great!
    Love to you all,

    Aside from the fantastic letter, brimming with warmth, a second signature of the Pulitzer-winning giant is included on the verso of the original transmittal envelope, on the sealing flap above a return address, written "N.H. Lee."

    Condition: Each page has one horizontal fold, with a light spot of soiling from handling at the fold, on the right edge. Ink is bright, and clearly legible.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2016
    5th Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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