Talk:Harper Lee

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Controversy over Go Set A Watchman[edit]

Should a section questioning her health be added to the details of Go Set A Watchman. Given the past history of lawsuit over her being duped and others surrounding her stating she's incoherent and deaf and blind from a stroke, while the publishers admit they haven't spoken to her, this seems pertinent. She's reclusive and in the past stated she didn't want to publish anything else. Unsure if it meets notable discussion, but AP has done a story on it already. Seola (talk) 00:44, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

I have added a sentence confirming her stroke, near blindness and deafness, and the fact that the announcement of the forthcoming publication of Go Set A Watchman came through her attorney, Tonja Carter. You are correct that no one other than her attorney, Ms. Carter, has been allowed to see her recently. Ms. Carter refuses to speak with the press, or disclose the details of the "discovery" of this 58 year old manuscript. Many old friends of Nelle Harper Lee (now refused admittance to her), as well as her sister Alice (now deceased), have made statements to the effect that she has been confused since her stroke nearly 8 years ago. This Washington Post piece summarizes pretty well.[1] It absolutely meets the requirements of notable discussion. 2602:306:B80A:C200:D95A:B68E:FD70:475 (talk) 16:51, 18 February 2015 (UTC)Gillartsny
From what I've read on this topic, and seen in TV news, long-standing friends do see Ms Lee. For those who say that she is cognitively incapacitated, there are others who say that she is not. Apparently, the investigation into a complaint of financial elder abuse against Ms Lee [ADDITION: I meant to say against Ms Lee by others] has been closed as "state securities commissioner director Joseph Borg told AP". The woman had a stroke in 2007. They frequently alter neuro-muscular function and disrupt communication abilities, things that have beset Ms Lee, but stroke does not automatically alter mental function. Her sister died not long ago; Alice Lee was Harper Lee's lawyer who choose Ms Carter, a partner in Alice's law firm, as the successor lawyer for Harper's estate. The Go Set a Watchman manuscript was found when Carter went through all the boxes and boxes of stuff that Alice accumulated over the years. No big mystery there. Harper Lee was not a recluse. Even the Mills book talks about her being engaged in the world into her 80s - regular coffee at McDonald's, regular trips to the laundromat, road-trips around Alabama - she was just not home to reporters. Here are some recent articles that address some of these things:
Thank you, Wordreader (talk) 05:47, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
Wordreader (talk) 07:19, 13 March 2015 (UTC)


Alabama State Bar[edit]

I believe you would be interested in knowing that Ms. Lee was given a special, honorary membership in the Alabama State Bar (she is the only person to ever have received such an honor). See the AP story here: /news/949189115 (talk) 18:55, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

Please add mention of the origin of the name "Harper". This is covered in Marja Mills book "The Mockingbird Next Door" and she mentioned it on the CPSAN Booknotes interview held on July 23, 2014. This reference is found at 01:10:48 "That makes me think of 'Harper' as a name."....."I think of how that name <Harper> came to be. And that, it really was a 'thanks' to an otherwise forgotten Selma pediatrician that was able to come up with a formula that the third of the three Lee sisters, Louise a baby she was unable to digest formula. And this pediatrician, finally, after they had made the rounds to other doctors and were desperately worried that Louise Lee as an infant wouldn't survive if she couldn't begin digesting formula. They came across this Selma pediatrician by the name Dr. William Harper...ten years later... when one Nell Harper Lee came into the world...that name was a thanks in part to this pediatrician." Review here: 01:10:48 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:19, 14 July 2015 (UTC)

Please add mentions of stroke and Marja Mills[edit]

In 2007, Lee had a stroke. This should probably be mentioned.

Recently, there has been a lot of news about a memoir by Marja Mills that is supposed to contain a lot of information on Lee, and written with her cooperation. Harper Lee currently says she never cooperated on it. (Her sister gave written approval of the memoir, but has now (I think) retracted it.) The Telegraph says, "her agreeing to co-operate with a new literary biographer, Marja Mills, who claims to tell the true story behind her years of silence, is important and surprising news."

See: (talk) 23:06, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

The memoir by Marja Mills has been published: The Mockingbird Next Door: Life With Harper Lee. The Washington Post has a few articles on what the book says about Harper Lee, and the mild controversy the book sparked about invading her privacy:
Mathew5000 (talk) 13:05, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I wonder if this should be in the article. “Rest assured, as long as I am alive any book purporting to be with my cooperation is a falsehood,” Lee wrote. I for one doubt she wronte go set a watchman and expect this to come out and be a controversy. Popish Plot (talk) 19:26, 13 July 2015 (UTC)


Surely, since Lee has written exactly one novel in her lifetime, describing her as an author is similar to describing Richard Branson as an aviator for flying a balloon a few times. In answer to the inevitable question of "what else would you call her?" I don't know. - (talk) 19:36, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

So Danielle Steel is an author and Harper Lee is not? LOL. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:48, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

She's an author. It's not as if she wrote a cookbook or travel guide to Indiana. She wrote a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel that is taught in every English speaking country in the world. --Moni3 (talk) 21:55, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
The Richard Branson article is in the category for "English aviators". AdamSommerton (talk) 21:31, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
what a boorish comment; yes it's like describing Lindbergh as an aviator. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:09, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
Margaret Mitchell only published one novel during her lifetime too. Muzilon (talk) 11:02, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
If a person has done something, and they are notable for having done it, then it is appropriate to call them a "something-doer", regardless of how many times they did it (e.g. "cosmonaut" Yuri Gagarin only flew into space once). It's inappropriate when that something is a trivial element in an otherwise noteworthy biography (e.g. George W. Bush being a "painter"). -Jason A. Quest (talk) 18:58, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

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Harper Lee only has three siblings: Alice, Frances Louise, and Edwin.

Skyewardlove (talk) 21:04, 21 July 2014 (UTC)


"wages from them" - Who is "them"? (talk) 23:36, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

It's clear if you follow the inline ref at the end of that sentence ([1]): her coworkers from her job as an airline reservations clerk. Maybe some context got lost from the wikipedia article over time. (don't have time to fix it myself atm) --Jeremyb (talk) 23:52, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

More proof that she wrote her own book.[edit]

I didn't see this item listed in the page or references anywhere: "Letter Puts End to Persistent 'Mockingbird' Rumor" - Good night, all, Wordreader (talk) 07:22, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 28 March 2015[edit]


The following sentence is based on a mistaken memory:

"Late in the 1980s Lee spent some time in Alexander City, Alabama, researching a true-crime book called The Reverend.[23]"

Please change "Late in the 1980s" to "In 1978."

The article which this sentence cites came from a 2010 interview with Alexander City attorney Tom Radney. Mr. Radney granted the interview over thirty years after Harper Lee's visit, and he had forgotten some details. (I discussed this with his widow and confirmed that the Radney family was uncertain about the date.) Fortunately, Miss Lee wrote a thank you note to some of her hosts at the time of her visit, so we are now able to pinpoint the year she lived in Alex City.


Thank you!

AlabamaBelyeu (talk) 18:04, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

AlabamaBelyeu (talk) 18:04, 28 March 2015 (UTC)


Yes check.svg Done AGF edit as all seems correct however, this my be reverted if found incorrect Mlpearc (open channel) 19:43, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 21 April 2015[edit]

The article mis-states the number of siblings that Harper Lee had. She had 3 siblings. The article fails to mention her sister Alice Finch Lee. Billqs (talk) 21:33, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. Mlpearc (open channel) 21:43, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 29 April 2015[edit]

Please correct the phrase about Harper Lee having had only 2 siblings, to acknowledge that she had 3. Please mention her sister Alice Finch Lee as well. TheCheshireCat'sGrin (talk) 15:27, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. Jamietw (talk) 15:35, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 30 April 2015[edit]

Harper Lee had 3 siblings, not 2 as written. Please mention her sister Alice Finch Lee.[1][2]


TheCheshireCat'sGrin (talk) 10:53, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

Padlock-silver-open.svg Not done: The page's protection level and/or your user rights have changed since this request was placed. You should now be able to edit the page yourself. If you still seem to be unable to, please reopen the request with further details. Kharkiv07Talk 13:22, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 1 July 2015[edit]

The article states that Lee's parents had five children, but that Lee had three siblings. That would indicate her parents had four children. Is 'five' an error, or is there an unmentioned child? (talk) 09:31, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Corrected to 4 children per the cited source. Cannolis (talk) 10:19, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 5 August 2015[edit]

The image of the cover of To Kill a Mocking Bird needs removing as there is no fair use rationale of it. Nor would there be as it doesn't meet the criteria at WP:FUR. (talk) 14:46, 5 August 2015 (UTC)

 Done Thanks for pointing that out - Arjayay (talk) 16:54, 5 August 2015 (UTC)

2015: Go Set a Watchman - Who is Jonathan Mahler?[edit]

The article mentions the name without indicating who he is or what his credentials are. He is apparently a contributing writer for The New York Times. Please edit this article to include that detail. Akaase (talk) 08:05, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

Thank you Akaase, I have added "... in the The New York Times"—BTW, he is the author of Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning
Cheers! — | Gareth Griffith-Jones |The WelshBuzzard| — 09:53, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 19 February 2016[edit]

Correct Death Date, died today, 19 feb 2016 (talk) 15:29, 19 February 2016 (UTC)

Pictogram voting wait.svg Already done ChamithN (talk) 16:59, 19 February 2016 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 19 February 2016[edit]

The date of death is incorrect on the right panel under her picture. It has her information and the date as February 18th, 2016. If this is the correct date, then the first line about Harper Lee, stating her name and birth date, is incorrect and needs an edit.

Thanks. Patdap (talk) 16:03, 19 February 2016 (UTC)

Reference, please. It was reported today that she had died, but no reference we have so far says that it was today that she died. She may have died on the 18th or 19th, but we don't know which yet. Until we get a reference, we can only report that she died on or before the 19th. - Nunh-huh 16:05, 19 February 2016 (UTC)
The news is just breaking. It will be clarified soon as details are reported. "Circa" is sufficient for now. МандичкаYO 😜 16:20, 19 February 2016 (UTC)
Telegraph gives a timeline, which states she died Feb. 18, 2016. . I don't yet know if that is accurate. (talk) 16:21, 19 February 2016 (UTC)
On the other hand, Buzzfeed reports she died Friday (Feb 19) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:25, 19 February 2016 (UTC)
Buzzfeed is probably making the same mistake Wikipedia was: premature reporting of supposition as fact. We're better off with "about" until the date of death (rather than the date the death became known) is settled. -Nunh-huh 16:55, 19 February 2016 (UTC)
Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done for now: Let's hold tight on this one. Wait for things to calm down --allthefoxes (Talk) 17:15, 19 February 2016 (UTC)
Well, the New York Times says she passed away on Friday. I think that's a pretty reliable source and the 19th is what the article says right now. Liz Read! Talk! 18:06, 19 February 2016 (UTC)
If the NY Times reports it, then it's solid. Buzzfeed is not an acceptable source. I mean, seriously. МандичкаYO 😜 18:37, 19 February 2016 (UTC)

Upload a better image[edit]

The infobox needs a better image of Lee.

Can't it at least be cropped to get rid of that guy in the background? Nohomersryan (talk) 02:33, 20 February 2016 (UTC)

There is no point in cropping it further. It'll only make the image even more cramped. -- ChamithN (talk) 02:47, 20 February 2016 (UTC)
Hmm, gonna disagree. That guy is basically occupying blank space, he's not really intruding on Lee, and having his whole face is just kind of weird/unappealing. (I realize this is a nitpick, but eh, so be it.) Nohomersryan (talk) 03:30, 20 February 2016 (UTC)

Harper Lee's grandson[edit]

Since I can't edit this page because it is semi-locked I will leave this source here. This article from the LA Times says that Lee's grandson is named after her (7th paragraph, 2nd sentence).--Somenolife (talk) 21:17, 18 March 2017 (UTC)