Harper Lee, the beloved author of the classic American novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, died at the age of 89 in her Monroeville, Alabama, nursing home on Friday, sparking an outpouring of grief among the literary community around the globe, as reported by the Guardian.
While Lee’s first novel won instant acclaim and a Pulitzer Prize, her second novel, Go Set A Watchman, was much less favorably received by readers, as previoulsy reported by the Inquisitr.
The story goes that Harper Lee’s lawyer and longtime associate, Tonja Carter, found the Watchman manuscript when doing a check on the condition of the original Mockingbird manuscript in the author’s “secure archive,” according to the Huffington Post.
Watchman revealed an element of the personality of Mockingbird‘s hero, Atticus Finch, that some scholars believed they had previously detected: that Scout’s father was actually a racist. The news was described as “bombshell,” as quoted by New Republic.
It has been speculated that Lee never intended Watchman to be published. It has been reported that Lee’s original publisher rejected Watchman some 55 years ago, which sent the author back to the drawing board and resulted in one of the most widely read books of all-time.
Why then, would HarperCollins publish the novel of an elderly woman, who, by most accounts, was losing her faculties due to old age, when she never intended it to be read by the masses?
One seemingly plausible explanation goes like this.
Senior U.S Senator Elizabeth Warren is wildly popular among progressive Democrats. Many have encouraged Warren to run for president. Whenever talk of who Democratic presidential candidates might select to serve as vice president takes place, Warren’s name appears near the top of list, though she is not “actively seeking nomination” for the position, as reported by the Fiscal Times.
Though it was previously public knowledge, in September, Senator Warren posted a picture of her 4-year-old grandson, who just happens to be named Atticus, to her Facebook page.
It’s not difficult to imagine Elizabeth Warren sharing and discussing To Kill A Mockingbird with her children, them gaining an appreciation for the novel, and then subsequently naming their child Atticus. If it is the truth, it is a beautiful thing.
It is no secret that Murdoch is politically active and has consistently demonstrated a preference for Republican candidates. In 2014, he listed Jeb Bush, Paul Ryan, and Chris Christie as his top picks for president. Murdoch has also been quoted that he “could live with Hillary as president,” as reported by Fox News.
Though Hillary Clinton has attempted to portray herself as a progressive, fellow Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has disputed this claim, as reported by Time.
It is clear that Rupert Murdoch is no fan of Democrats. He recently described Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders as “trolling for black votes” and described their actions as “the worst kind of pandering,” as reported by the Hollywood Reporter.
Is it possible that Rupert Murdoch would relish the opportunity to knock a progressive liberal like Elizabeth Warren, whom many see as having a real shot at future presidency, down a few pegs, or even ruin her entirely?
“I expect it to have a profound impact,” were Rupert Murdoch’s thoughts on Go Set A Watchman leading up to the lost novel’s release, as reported by the Telegraph. Now that we know that the novel casts Atticus Finch as a racist, is it possible that Murdoch was being disingenuously coy?
Is it possible that Rupert Murdoch knew that Elizabeth Warren has a grandson named Atticus, and that a long-forgotten sequel to To Kill A Mockingbird existed, which painted a character that so many have perceived as the perfect man to emulate as a racist, and that he began salivating at the mere possibilities? The fact that there are only 1,611 people in the United States named Atticus, as reported by How Many of Me, would seem to underscore this possibility.
Beyond the obvious financial motive, was the publishing of Go Set A Watchman merely a swipe at Elizabeth Warren by one of the richest, and most vocal, supporters of the Republican Party on the face of the Earth? Could any publisher stoop so low as to publish a manuscript that its own creator did not want read and felt was more of an exercise than a publishable work?
The truth behind these questions may be unknowable, yet an abundance of circumstantial evidence appears to point in that direction. If these allegations are true, it is a travesty to the Harper Lee legacy and the legacy of a novel, and a character, which unquestionably, has made the world a better place. It would also seem to be a low point for a man who should know better.
[Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images]