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Signed first edition of To Kill A Mockingbird sells for $25,000 on AbeBooks


Last week AbeBooks sold a signed first edition of To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee for $25,000. It was easily the most expensive copy of Lee’s classic novel that has been sold via AbeBooks and also our most expensive sale of 2011 so far.

Published in 1960, To Kill A Mockingbird has enduring appeal for a variety of reasons.

It’s considered to be a modern American masterpiece and the author never ‘watered down’ the book’s impact by writing anything else. The book also seems to return to the media headlines on a regular basis. The latest piece of Harper Lee-related news concerns a forthcoming book called The Mockingbird Next Door: Life With Harper Lee. The author, Marja Mills, a one-time reporter for the Chicago Tribune, claims Harper Lee cooperated with the book’s creation while the author’s lawyer says there was no cooperation. Lee has refused to give media interviews for many years so any collaboration would be surprising.

The Oscar-winning movie version of the novel still has a following and the book is banned on a surprisingly regular basis in certain schools because of its use of the N-word. All these factors combine to ensure that this 51-year-old book has a remarkably high profile.

And interest from collectors is as strong as ever. In December 2010, AbeBooks sold a signed first British edition for $8,500.

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Richard Davies

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