So few books and yet she was loved by millions. That's the story of Harper Lee - the former airline ticket agent who wrote one of the great novels of the 20th century, To Kill a Mockingbird, published in 1960.

Go Set a Watchman is set two decades ahead of Mockingbird, and tells the story of an adult Scout Finch returning home to Maycomb, Alabama (the same fictional, Southern town from Mockingbird) to visit her father, Atticus. When Watchman was completed, Lee's editor commented that the flashbacks in the book, depicting Scout's childhood, were powerful enough that Lee should consider writing another book set earlier in the lives of the Finch family. That suggestion gave us Mockingbird.

There was suspicion regarding the timing of the manuscript's announcement, and concerns of elder abuse came to light. Harper Lee had been living in a care facility in her small hometown of Monroeville, Alabama. She was deaf and nearly blind, and there were those among her fans who questioned whether Lee was able to fully consent to the book's publication..

Her real legacy is To Kill a Mockingbird, which has been translated into more than 40 languages and sold millions of copies. The book is taught by countless tutors of English literature (although there is always a lunatic who wants it banned every year). The film adaptation is pretty good too.

The character of Dill was famously inspired by Lee's childhood friend, Truman Capote. Lee went with Capote to Holcomb, Kansas, when he was researching the details behind the murder of a family for a New Yorker feature - a story that eventually began In Cold Blood. Apart from a few magazine articles in the 1960s, she never published anything else until the surprise surfacing of Go Set a Watchman.

In March 2015, an investigative journalist took it upon himself to set out on a quest for an interview with the elusive Lee. After numerous attempts to reach her, including visiting her nursing home, he wrote her a two-page, impassioned letter, citing concern for her well-being amidst all the rumours, and included a plea that she should respond to him, even if only to decline the interview opportunity. And for once - a rarity - Lee did respond. The journalist received his own letter back, crumpled and wrinkled, along with a four-word reply: "Go Away. - Harper Lee".


Beautiful Editions of To Kill a Mockingbird:

UK First Editions of To Kill a Mockingbird To Kill a Mockingbird

UK First Editions

Easton Press edition of To Kill a Mockingbird To Kill a Mockingbird

Easton Press edition

Franklin Library edition of To Kill a Mockingbird To Kill a Mockingbird

Franklin Library edition

Folio Society edition of To Kill a Mockingbird To Kill a Mockingbird

Folio Society edition

Landmark edition of To Kill a Mockingbird To Kill a Mockingbird

Landmark Edition

40th anniversary edition of To Kill a Mockingbird To Kill a Mockingbird

40th anniversary edition

of To Kill a Mockingbird To Kill a Mockingbird

1965 Re-issue, McClelland & Stewart

of To Kill a Mockingbird To Kill a Mockingbird

Southern Classics Library edition

Special Editions of Go Set a Watchman

Misprinted UK Edition of Go Set a Watchman Go Set a Watchman

Rare misprinted UK Edition

Limited Edition, Signed: Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee Go Set a Watchman

Limited Edition of 100 copies, signed by Harper Lee.

Dual Slipcased Edition of Go Set a Watchman and To Kill a Mockingbird Go Set a Watchman Boxed Set

Dual slipcased edition of Go Set a Watchman and To Kill a Mockingbird.

Go Set a Watchman Collector's Edition Go Set a Watchman

Special Collector's Edition - 500 copies.

Books About Harper Lee and Her World:

Harper Lee by Kerry Madden Harper Lee

by Kerry Madden

The Worlds of Truman Capote by William L Nance The Worlds of Truman Capote

by William L Nance

Monroeville: The Search for Harper Lee's Maycomb - Monroe County Heritage Museums Monroeville: The Search for Harper Lee's Maycomb

Monroe County Heritage Museums

Looking for Harper Lee by Mark Childress Looking for Harper Lee

by Mark Childress