To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee

Themes and Setting
The Trial

Nelle Harper Lee was born on April 28, 1926 in Monroeville Alabama and is still alive today. She was the youngest of four children. They were Amasa, Coleman, Lee and Frances Finch Lee.
Harper Lee went to Huntingdon College from 1944 to 1945 and studied law at the University of Alabama from 1945 to 1949. She also studied one year at Oxford University. She was a reservation clerk with Eastern Air Lines and BOAC in New York City during the 1950's.
In 1957, Harper Lee tried to publish her book through the J.B. Lippincott Company. However, they rejected it by saying her novel had too many short stories strung together and needed to be rewritten. In 1960 it was published.
The Alabama Legislature made a resolution to congratulate her success on May 29, 1961. Later that year, Love --- In Other Words and Christmas To Me were published later that year. In 1965, When Children Discover America was published.
In June of 1966, President Johnson named Miss Lee to the National Council of Arts.
She made up the town Maycomb, but it's based on the town Monroeville, Alabama.
Miss Lee also published three, I'm sure there's more out there somewhere, essays during her life. One was written in the 1960's, and the other in the 1980's.

Nelle Harper Lee - author of To Kill a Mockingbird
Amasa Coleman Lee - father
Alice Finch Lee - sister
Frances Finch Cunningham Lee - Mother
Louise Lee Conner - sister
Edwin Coleman Lee - brother

Small Information about the Family
Her father, Amasa Coleman Lee wanted Harper to become part of his law firm, but it just didn't happen. She became a writer instead. He was very supportive of Harper Lee nonetheless. He passed away on April 15, 1962 at the age of 81. In his memory, J.B. Lippincott donated 300 books to the Monroe Country Library. The Monroe Journal of April 19th said, "he was a warm, friendly, and good citizen who served his family, his community, his country and his state extremely well in many varied capacities."
Her sister, Alice Finch lee helped with the Monroe Journal and was an associate editor and partner of the paper from 1929 to 1947. She was invited to practice law with her father. She was the first woman to be head of the administrative board of her church. She was also the first woman to "chair" the Alabama-West Florida Council of her church. She says that once she retires she wants to read a lot. She couldn't sew or knit, so she said that reading seemed to work for her.
Her mother, Frances Cunningham Finch Lee was a part of the family that came to Monroe County and founded Finchburg. She died on June 2, 195 and had one sister.
Her sister other sister, Louise Lee Conner lives in Alabama. She has two children named Edwin Lee and Little Hank.
Her brother, Edwin Coleman Lee was born in October 1920. He died of cerebral hemorrhage on July 12, 1951. He was a great high school athlete and served in World War II. He was married to Sara Anne McCall and had two children, Mary McCall and Edwin Coleman.

Other Work by Harper Lee
Miss Lee wrote many student publications while she was at the University of Alabama and for one year was the editor of the Rammer-Jammer. She wrote at least three essays that were published in American magazines in the 1960's, and a fourth essay was published in the 1980's.
"Love - In Other Words" was published in Vogue on April 15, 1961.
"Christmas To Me" was published in McCalls in December 1961.
"When Children Discover America" was also written by Miss Lee, but it's unsure if it was published in 1964 or in August 1965 in McCalls.
"High Romance and Adventure" was printed in 1983 when Harper Lee participated in the Alabama History and Heritage Festival.

Interesting Fact
"The 1995 edition of Book Collecting showed a first edition To Kill a Mockingbird in a "very good" condition listed in 1996 at $2,500. Prices now range to $5,000. A presentation copy was bought at auction for $12,650." - This found at