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Rare find in donations bag at Hereford charity bookshop
Rare first edition of Harper Lee's novel 'To Kill A Mockingbird' donated to Oxfam book shop.Manager Janet Gilbert with the book along with a rare Victorian book on butterflies and moths which was also donated at the same time. 1428_5001 Photo:
A RARE copy of a literary classic was found in a bag of donations by a shocked charity shop manager – who hopes to sell the item for £250.
Janet Gilbert, who manages Oxfam's bookshop on Broad Street in Hereford, was surprised to find Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird in its first English hardback edition among donations left over the weekend.
Set in Alabama during the great depression and narrated by the main character – a little girl named Jean Louise "Scout" Finch – the novel is widely used as a secondary school resource for GCSE English literature.
And just earlier this week it was released as an e-book after five decades.
But Mrs Gilbert hopes that the rare edition will fetch around £250, after discovering another copy sold at auction for £400.
It was donated along with a rare Victorian book on butterflies and moths.
"We have had a number of high quality donations of late," she said.
"We were sorting through and when I came across the book I couldn't believe what I was looking at. I held my breath and opened it in trepidation".
As she had hoped, the book was a 1961 first English edition in hardback – a real treasure.
And though tempted to buy it for herself, Mrs Gilbert is now keeping it safely stored in the shop until a new owner comes forward.