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To Kill a Mockingbird First Edition and Harper Lee Letters at NateDSanders.com Auction

To buy, sell or consign a To Kill a Mockingbird first edition, a To Kill a Mockingbird first edition signed or a Harper Lee letter, please email Nate@NateDSanders.com or call Nate D. Sanders at (310) 440-2982.  Thank you.

To Kill a Mockingbird first edition books can now sell up to $15,000 with a To Kill a Mockingbird first edition dust jacket.  Harper Lee letters signed can sell for a few hundred to a few thousand dollars depending on content.  We have sold a ton.   Here are some:

Incredibly Scarce Harper Lee 1960 Typed Letter Signed About “To Kill a Mockingbird” — Just Two Months After Its Publication, Lee Draws a Map of Maycomb County and Writes About the Fictional Town

To Kill a Mockingbird First Edition Incredibly Scarce Harper Lee 1960 Typed Letter Signed About "To Kill a Mockingbird"

Incredibly Scarce Harper Lee 1960 Typed Letter Signed About “To Kill a Mockingbird”

Harper Lee typed letter signed, dated 13 September 1960, replying to a Mrs. Hudson. A fellow Alabama resident, Hudson, like many readers, apparently drew parallels between Lee’s life and the fictional characters in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” published in July 1960, sending Lee questions about the novel’s setting. Lee replies in full: “Thank you for your kind note. You ask me where Maycomb County is, where the Landing is–the only answer I can give you is that Maycomb County is in my heart and the Landing is in my imagination. If, in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ I persuaded you that those places are real, that means I have succeeded in my profession, which is writing fiction…” She signs, “Harper Lee” and provides Hudson with a handdrawn map of fictional Maycomb County, handwriting, “Here is your map”. The 7″ x 10″ single page letter with a return address from Lee’s home in Monroeville, Alabama, shows moderate foxing and toning along folds. Overall in very good condition. Lot also includes an 8.5″ x 11″ single page letter, dated 20 September 1960 from Lee’s sister, Alice Lee, to Mrs. Hudson on behalf of the author. She also answers questions about “To Kill a Mockingbird”: “…Scout is not Harper Lee; Scout is only the product of the very vivid imagination of the author…” Also included is an 8.5″ x 11″ single page letter, dated only “the 4th” from Hudson to a Mrs. Bentley about her correspondence with Lee and commenting on Lee’s novel. It reads in part: “…the book is very shallow, and gives quite a distorted picture of the South, yet there is something very intriguing about it…” The two letters show mild foxing, else very good. An exceptionally scarce letter, as Harper Lee quickly grew loathe to comment whatsoever upon her only novel. Sold for $9,518.

To Kill a Mockingbird First Edition

Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird First Edition With Double Review Dustjacket

To Kill a Mockingbird First Edition Scarce First Edition of Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird" With Double Review Dustjacket

Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird First Edition With Double Review Dustjacket

Exceptionally scarce “double review” first printing dustjacket and book To Kill a Mockingbird first edition by Harper Lee. Philadelphia & New York: J.B. Lippincott Company: 1960. First edition includes the scarce first issue dustjacket with two reviews on the back flap by Shirley Ann Grau and Phyllis McGinley, in addition to the standard first edition frontflap quote from her long-time neighbor and friend, Truman Capote. Harper Lee’s portrayal of life in a small Alabama town captured the essence of the South and became an instant American classic. The 8.25″ x 5.5″ volume with brown boards and green backstrip is housed in a custom leather case. Minor soiling to the page edges and boards with some fading to backstrip. Price-clipped dustjacket shows overall edgewear. Overall very good plus condition. Great example of a To Kill a Mockingbird first edition.  Sold for $8,500.

Another To Kill a Mockingbird First Edition, But a Later Printing

This signed copy of To Kill a Mockingbird first edition which is rare in that it was signed in 1960, the year of publication, sold for $6,250.

To Kill a Mockingbird First Edition ''To Kill a Mockingbird'' Signed by Harper Lee in 1960, the Year of Publication

To Kill a Mockingbird First Edition, Later Printing, Signed by Harper Lee in 1960, the Year of Publication

This is a scarce early Harper Lee signature on a To Kill a Mockingbird first edition, fourth printing of her classic, published by J.B. Lippincott Company: Philadelphia: 1960. The elusive Pulitzer Prize winning author pens a rare inscription on the front free endpaper the year of the book’s release: ”To Scottie Frasier’s Godchildren: Terry and Al Rosen, With the best wishes of Harper Lee / September 14, 1960.” Harper Lee’s portrayal of life in a small Alabama town captured the essence of the South and became an instant American classic. She never finished a second novel and granted almost no interviews or public appearances.  Nice condition copy of  a To Kill a Mockingbird first edition.

We also sold this excellent Harper Lee typed letter signed, dated 23 March 1990, confronting head-on the lingering questions of ”To Kill a Mockingbird’s” authorship for $5,948. Lee calls out the ”academic nut” who said that her friend, Truman Capote, is actually the author.

To Kill a Mockingbird First Edition Harper Lee Letter Signed -- ''...I tremble at Mockingbird's falling into the hands of professors and being Analyzed to death...one academic nut at large declares that Truman Capote wrote it!...''

Harper Lee Letter Signed — ”…I tremble at Mockingbird’s falling into the hands of professors and being Analyzed to death…one academic nut at large declares that Truman Capote wrote it!…”

Lee confides in ”Doris: How kind of you to send me the READ ALABAMA info, and how like you to do it. Not only did I remember the first time my opinion was ever sought, I remember that the person seeking it was one of the most elegant-looking creatures I had ever seen. What touched me most was that your generosity of spirit included someone who was (and still is) the reverse of elegant, and made her feel a part of things. You made a friend for life that evening. Yes indeed, I have Alabama Memories, and think it fills a great need. You should have the enormous satisfaction of knowing that your creation will last forever as a permanent asset to all researchers and people who are interested in Alabama writing. Your report of Dr. Beidler’s remarks was most reassuring – I tremble at Mockingbird’s falling into the hands of professors and being Analyzed to death. (I understand there’s one academic nut at large who declares that Truman Capote wrote it!) If panel discussions of Mockingbird could inspire people to read, then I’m all for them. Last night I attended the opening of The Grapes of Wrath – the Broadway production by the Steppenwolf company. My private memories of John as a friend go back for many years, but as I sat watching the familiar scenes unfold I wondered if the young people in the audience knew what they were looking at: a novel that helped change the direction of the country. And I wondered how many of them realized – sitting in their opening-night finery…that they are descendants of the Joads – Love [signed] Nelle”.

 

We also sold a Harper Lee autograph letter signed, dated 29 January 1999, to her friend Doris Leapard for $4,753. Lee poignantly writes about school desegregation of the early 1960s.

To Kill a Mockingbird First Edition Harper Lee autograph letter signed, dated 29 January 1999

Harper Lee autograph letter signed, dated 29 January 1999

Lee thanks Leapard for the autograph of Vivian Malone, one of the first students to integrate the all white University of Alabama in 1963, shortly after publication of ”To Kill a Mockingbird”. Lee writes, ”…I shall treasure [the autograph] always. Looking back, it’s incredible what people had to endure just for their basic rights. Today’s young haven’t a clue what their parents went through; they seem bored to hear about it…Nelle”.

 

This exceptional Harper Lee typed letter signed, dated 25 August 1990, written in the same affectionate and lyrical style as “To Kill a Mockingbird” sold for $3,926.

To Kill a Mockingbird First Edition Harper Lee typed letter signed, dated 25 August 1990

Harper Lee typed letter signed, dated 25 August 1990

Lee specifically writes about novels dealing with social revolution, mentioning John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” and speaking with great admiration about Alabama novelist Elise Sanguinetti’s novels “Whitfields: The New Girl” & “McBee’s Station” – comparing Sanguinetti to Jane Austen and Eudora Welty. Lee writes a note below in blue pen, apologizing for the quality of her typewriter.

This fantastic Harper letter signed, with an additional autograph note signed at the conclusion, sold for $2680.

To Kill a Mockingbird First Edition Harper letter signed, with an additional autograph note signed

Harper letter signed, with an additional autograph note signed

Written to her friend Doris on 11 October 1990, Lee discusses the politics of race and literature: ”…Much thanks for the ‘Black Warrior Review’. It’s excellent. I shall subscribe to it…I don’t think there’s been an honorary degree from Alabama [University] to anyone who put pen to paper since Hudson Strode, and I’m not sure if that was for his writing or for his teaching. More than once I’ve wondered if the University is afraid to honor such potentially dangerous people as writers: after all, you never know what they’ll say next. Husdon, though, was absolutely safe — he wrote travel books and a (fine) biography of Jefferson Davis. Nowhere in his writings can one find a hint that a Negro’s bus fare might be as good as a white’s, nor find anything of nature that could possibly offends the sensibilities of the Trustees. I have a feeling that after Hudson, the authorities said Duty Done and turned their attention to serious like the annual Sugar Bowl bid. Now that we’re not going anywhere this year, maybe they can spare a few minutes for somebody who’s given us a lifetime of good writing. I do hope so…[signed] Nelle”. Other excellent content includes her consternation of strangers asking her for money and gifts: ”…You will never believe what people take it into their heads to ask for: everything from, ‘Send two autographed first editions of Mockingbird’ to ‘Send $850 to help me get a new TV-VCR machine so I can look at the movie.’ They don’t even say please…” At the conclusion of the letter, Lee pens a note in blue ink, ”Forgive me if this letter sounds ungracious & ungrateful, but I’ve written so many postcards this week I’m just about nuts. The wretched ‘Parade’ went as far as Hawaii, from whence came 7 pages”.

 

We sold this nice Harper Lee autograph letter signed ”Nelle”, dated 18 December 2004, for $1,135. It mentions Boo Radley, one of the only times she refers to her famous character in one of her letters.

To Kill a Mockingbird First Edition Harper Lee autograph letter signed ''Nelle''

Harper Lee autograph letter signed ”Nelle”

The letter is addressed to a Don Salter and reads in full: ”Dear Don: At Alice’s & my age — books, clothes, CD’s, paintings? No. Candy? Always, Thanks ever so, we will not be taking it to Florida to share with the family, we shall greedily keep it here for ourselves. Your NY adventure sounds as if you had some luck auction-wise. Hope so. Naturally all I know about the 2 Capote pictures is what I read in the papers. Nobody said Boo (not Radley) to me about them. Did you see the Sotheby’s auction of Truman’s mss. [manuscripts] Didn’t sell, but pictures and letters did, all very mysterious. Merry Christmas — Nelle”.

To buy, sell or consign a To Kill a Mockingbird first edition, a To Kill a Mockingbird first edition signed or a Harper Lee letter, please email Nate@NateDSanders.com or call Nate D. Sanders at (310) 440-2982.  Thank you.

 

 

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