Description

    Harper Lee: Beautiful Inscribed First Edition of To Kill a Mockingbird. (New York: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1960), first edition (Truman Capote photo credit on reverse and Jonathan Daniels quote on back flap), 296 pages, inscribed by the author on the ffep, jacket design by Shirley Smith, brown boards and light green cloth shelf back with brown titles, 8vo (5.75" x 8.25"), slightly bumped corners, else about fine in a very good price-clipped jacket with light scuffing to front panel, and light wear at the edges. The book is housed in a gorgeous full leather clamshell case with five raised spine bands and gilt titles and decoration.

    First editions of Lee's Pulitzer Prize winning novel are rare but inscribed editions are rarer still. Nelle Harper Lee grew up in Monroeville, Alabama, next-door to writer Truman Capote, who was raised by his mother's Monroeville cousins, Sook, Callie, Bud and Jennie Faulk. Presumably a presentation copy to Jennie Faulk, perhaps through another former Monroeville neighbor, with "From - /Ellen Hoskins/July 2 -1960" and Lee's inscription "To Jennie/with my best wishes/Nelle Lee". It is notable that Lee has used her first name "Nelle" instead of the usual "Harper", another indication that Lee was inscribing the book to a more intimate or long-term acquaintance. It is also interesting to note that the inscription date is July 2, 1960 and the official publication date of the novel was July 11, 1960. This also lends weight to the theory that the copy on offer was an advance copy available only to intimates of Lee or well-connected individuals.

    To Kill a Mockingbird is at one and the same time a coming of age novel and a statement on 1930s-era race relations in the fictional southern town of Maycomb, Alabama. Though Lee has denied that the novel is autobiographical, the character of Atticus Finch closely parallels her own father, childhood friend Truman Capote is said to be the model for the character Dill Harris, and the narrator of the story, the tomboy Scout Finch, is certainly based upon Lee herself. In 1962 the movie version of the novel starring Gregory Peck was released. The movie version, with a screenplay by Horton Foote, won three Academy Awards.

    This is a remarkable opportunity to own a unique copy of a work that many consider the greatest American novel and voted "Best Novel of the Century" in a 1999 poll conducted by the Library Journal. From the Ventura Collection.




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    Auction Dates
    April, 2007
    16th-17th Monday-Tuesday
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