Truman Capote

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Truman Capote

Truman Capote Signed In Cold Blood – Limited Edition 329/500 - 1965

An exceptionally fine and exceedingly rare Limited Edition of In Cold Blood (#329 of just 500 copies), Capote’s sensational “non-fiction novel” as he called it. Capote hand wrote “329” on the limitation page and signed “Truman Capote”. One of the tightest and cleanest copies we’ve seen. Fine condition, printed on special laid paper, cover protected with original acetate dust wrapper and custom embossed clamshell case, all distinct from the first trade edition. Dust wrapper has a small chip at the base, otherwise clean and clear in Near Fine condition.

On November 16, 1959, the New York Times carried the following story:

Wealthy Farmer, 3 of Family Slain
A wealthy wheat farmer, his wife and their two young children were found shot to death today in their home. They had been killed by shotgun blasts at close range after being bound and gagged. The father, 48-year-old Herbert W. Clutter, was found in the basement with his son, Kenyon, 15. His wife Bonnie, 45, and a daughter, Nancy, 16, were in their beds. There were no signs of a struggle and nothing had been stolen. The telephone lines had been cut. “This is apparently the case of a psychopathic killer,” Sheriff Earl Robinson said…

Fascinated by this brief news item, author Truman Capote, whose book Breakfast at Tiffany’s had just been published to great acclaim, traveled with his childhood friend Harper Lee (author of To Kill a Mockingbird) to Holcomb, Kansas, and visited the scene of the massacre. Together they interviewed local residents and investigators assigned to the case and took thousands of pages of notes. The killers, Richard Hickock and Perry Smith, were arrested not long after the murders, and Capote ultimately spent six years working on the book. It is considered the originator of the nonfiction novel and the forerunner of the New Journalism movement.

The story weaves a complicated psychological story of two parolees who together commit a mass murder, an act they were not capable of individually. Capote’s book also details the lives of the victims and the effect the crime had on where they lived. A large part of the story involves the dynamic psychological relationship of the two felons that culminated in this senseless crime. In Cold Blood is often regarded as a pioneering work of true crime.