05-31-2018 06-08-2018
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3103T Marlborough
May 31, 2018 10:00 AM - June 8, 2018 10:00 AMCalender

Lee, Harper (1926-2016) Four Signed Letters, April and May 1988.

Auction: Books & Manuscripts - 3103T Location: Marlborough Date / Time: May 31, 2018 10:00AM


Lee, Harper (1926-2016) Four Signed Letters, April and May 1988. Including three typed letters signed (two single page letters and one two-and-a-half page letter), and one autograph letter signed, all addressed to an author who proposes writing Lee's biography; the first letter is kind and complimentary, although Lee dismisses the idea of a biography out of hand, the second (ALs) written in thanks after Lee received a published biography of Katharine White by the author is also thoughtful and conciliatory; in it, Lee suggests Eudora Welty as a possible subject; the third letter was composed in a bit of a panic, as the biographer was planning a visit to Alabama to begin her work for Lee's biography, "Please let me clear up a misunderstanding: when I said it was perfectly okay for you to do a biography of me after my death, I fear that you took me literally: what I meant was that after my death I'm up for grabs. [...] I did not in any way, shape, or form intend to appoint you my official biographer, or give that dubious distinction to anyone. Please understand! The idea of contacting my friends, family, and whomever may give you information is tantamount to your working on my biography as of now, and I earnestly request you to refrain therefrom. [...] I must insist that you lay off for at least several years to come. I'm not quite dead yet!"; in the fourth and longest letter, Lee patches things up, and apologizes for alarming the would-be biographer, Lee encourages her to continue writing "As for quitting altogether, DON'T BE SILLY"; she explains that her agent, Julie Fallowfield, sometimes comes across as "frosty" in her efforts to protect Lee; this letter also contains an interesting note on Gerald Clarke's biography of Truman Capote, Lee notes that when reading it, "you will find among its amazing inaccuracies a particularly malicious lie to the effect that my mother was mentally unbalanced and had tried twice to kill me! (A glittering example of Truman's cruelty and jealousy--all my gentle mother ever did was love him.)"; with a four-line post script note in Lee's hand; sizes of the letters vary, should be viewed for content.
Estimate $2,000-3,000

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Gerald Clarke, Julie Fallowfield, Lee, Katharine White