Harper Lee first edition will sell on October 6

An inscribed first edition copy of Harper Lee's masterpiece To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) will headline a San Francisco auction on October 6.

It's offered with an estimate of $20,000-30,000 in a fine literature sale at PBA Galleries.

Harper Lee Mockingbird
Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird is a classic American novel

Only 5,000 copies of the novel were printed in its first run. While the publisher was convinced of the novel's brilliance, it thought it unlikely the book would go on to a second printing.

However, the work was selected to be printed in abridged form in the Reader's Digest in 1960.

This had a galvanising effect on sales and it swiftly became a bestseller.

It has never been out of print since.  

Lee, who died earlier this year, was famously reclusive and rarely gave out signatures - making this a doubly rare item.

An inscribed first edition copy of Ernest Hemingway's debut novel The Torrents of Spring is valued at $8,000-12,000.

Charles Scribner & Sons printed the book in a run of 1,250.

Hemingway actually wrote the novel to get out of a contract with his former publisher, Boni & Liveright, after becoming irritated with the way they marketed his short story collection In Our Time (1925).

His contract allowed him to leave if the publisher rejected a book.

So he wrote the Torrents of Spring, a biting parody of a recent book by Sherwood Anderson, Boni & Liveright's most successful author.

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