Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

A. Bryant Mangum, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Richard Fine, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Liz Canfield, Ph.D.


The 2015 publication of Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman (2015) raised questions and concerns when it was read in the context of the author’s first novel, To Kill a Mockingbird (1960), a text with strong, direct statements related to civil rights and social injustice. This thesis examines textual similarities and differences between Watchman and Mockingbird, suggesting the likely influence of editor Thèrése “Tay” von Hohoff in Mockingbird’s published version. Additionally, the thesis examines Hohoff’s 1959 biography, A Ministry to Man: The Life of John Lovejoy Elliott, as a plausible inspiration for Lee’s Mockingbird hero, Atticus Finch. Containing corroboration from available correspondence, biographical information, interviews, and historical records, this thesis documents Hohoff’s editorial influence on Lee as the two worked together to create a lasting contribution to American literary history and culture.


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