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Lee, Nelle Harper (b. 1926) One Typed Letter Signed, One Autograph Letter Signed, One Christmas Card Signed, 1960 and 1972.

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Books & Manuscripts - 2764B
Date / Time :
November 16, 2014 10:00AM


Lee, Nelle Harper (b. 1926) One Typed Letter Signed, One Autograph Letter Signed, One Christmas Card Signed, 1960 and 1972.
Single page typed letter on white stationery with fine pinstripes, with the matching type-addressed envelope, postmarked Monroeville, Alabama, 4 September 1960, to John Darden, two folds, envelope torn, the letter 10 x 7 in.
"Monroeville, Alabama
(but not for long)
Then it'll be
403 East 77 Street
NYC 21

John dearest:


I have been to the four corners of the United States and back; in Kansas, where Truman Capote & I spent a bleak winter solving 4 murders for the New Yorker; in Monroeville, where a letter from you just missed me; in New York, where I became Famous; in Connecticut, where the Famous go to get used to it; in Easthampton, where the Famous go after they've gotten used to it; back to NY; up to Connecticut again where my beloved agent, Maurice Crain, became deathly ill, and deprived me of the small pleasures (like cashing checks at Brentano's) and joys (like calling the phone company to give you an unlisted number) that the Famous are supposed to have. Maurice, thank God, is almost well (infectious hepatitis), and I've had to come back to Ala. to face the State.

Honey, I just can't write you what's happened to me, I'll just have to see you and tell you. But I can write you that I appreciated your Mockingbird letter more than any letter from anyone I've received. You are one of my oldest friends, John, and happily one whose judgement [the e struck out] and taste I've always respected to the utmost. To get a "Yes!" from you is an honor not easily won, and I want you to know I appreciate it more than I can say.

Please let me hear from you, if you are still speaking to me, and let me know where you are. I'm sending this to Phil. [sic] in hopes that you left a forwarding address. Doesn't matter whether I write or not, I've always got to know where you are, John. I'm hoping against hope that you'll be in NY when I return (if e'er I return, I've got so much to do down here), so I can get a glimpse of your ridiculous face once more.
Meantime, my love.

[Together with] An autograph letter signed, 30 December 1972, on a folded piece of stationery, the text occupying one and a half pages, to John Darden, with the holograph envelope.

"December 30

John dearest: Now that you have surfaced, keep this for the next 6 weeks or so:
433 East 82 St.
NYC 10028
212-RH4-2066 (most secret, but now in the public domain.)
To say that my heart turned over when I heard from my old friend is inaccurate--at our age we have attacks,
Harper Lee thrives, but at the expense of Nelle, who, after being well & truly mugged last June, fled to a more civilized environment (Vermont & Alabama). I plan to return to NY on the 8th, pack my books & get out of there for good--probably to Vermont for the remainder of the winter, then God knows where. I'm tired of fighting dope addicts and too old to pretend that NY is the center of the universe.
If Clayton is within a bus ride of the city, could you spare me at least a lunch or dinner hour some day? I promise you that you will find Nelle--old & grey & fat now, but retaining some recognizable characteristics. That I will know my John, I have no doubt.
I love you--N."
[with] a signed Christmas card, signed Nelle, and with the message, "Shall we ever meet again??" 4 x 5 1/2 in.
[and] a photocopy of a two-page typed letter from John Darden sent to Lee, 6 January 1972; and a postcard from Darden to Lee.
Estimate $3,000-3,500

The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Condition requests can be obtained via email (lot inquiry button) or by telephone to the appropriate gallery location (Boston/617.350.5400 or Marlborough/508.970.3000). Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner Inc. shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.


John Darden, Nelle Harper, Alabama, Monroeville, Maurice Crain, Connecticut, Kansas, United States, the New Yorker, Vermont