For the last few months we’ve been following the 50th anniversary events for Harper Lee’s classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. The elderly author has been quite a recluse for the past few decades, but Sharon Churcher with MailOnline somehow scored an introduction.
The article contains some interesting biographical bits that don’t normally appear in run-of-the-mill write-ups:
In the novel, Scout lives in fear of a ‘malevolent phantom’, a psychologically disturbed neighbour called Boo Radley, who ultimately saves her life.
While it is clear that the character is in part based on a reclusive neighbour, in reality, it was Harper’s mother Frances who was the source of much terror and unhappiness.
Suffering from depression and violent mood swings, friends in the close-knit Alabama town say that Frances allegedly twice tried to drown her daughter in the bath. As a result, perhaps, the young Harper was regarded as a difficult and aggressive child who would think nothing of punching other children who annoyed her.
For the comments: Why is she so reclusive, and do you think we should be prying into her business? Would it be better to wait until after her death?