“Man Against Himself”
A Book from Marilyn Monroe’s Personal Library
A copy of Karl A. Menninger’s “Man Against Himself” (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1938) from the personal collection of Marilyn Monroe with a Christie’s auction bookplate on the front inside covers.
Interestingly, Marilyn has called out passages in the very first chapter of the book related to suicide. There are numerous other annotations throughout the book.
Click on a photo above for an enlargement.
The library of Marilyn Monroe contained over 400 books on a variety of subjects, reflecting both her intelligence and her wide-ranging interests. No surprise to those familiar with Monroe, they were the books of a well-read and inquiring mind. Works of Literature, Art, Drama, Biography, Poetry, Politics, History, Theology, Philosophy, and Psychology covered the walls in her library. Among the First Editions was her own copy of The Beat Generation classic On the Road by Jack Kerouac, Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man and William Styron’s This House on Fire. From Tolstoy to Twain, many other classic works of literature were represented, including her copies of The Great Gatsby, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, James Joyce’s Dubliners, Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, and The Fall by Camus. Her library also contained books on gardening, her Bibles, and children’s books, including her own copy of The Little Engine That Could which was possibly marked with her own childish scrawl.
All items in Monroe’s library were in original bindings (mostly cloth or wrappers), and good condition. The books comprising Marilyn Monroe’s reading library contained her pencil marks, notations, and inserted book marks or slips.
All volumes sold at the 1999 Christie’s auction contained a posthumous bookplate identifying them as coming from Marilyn Monroe’s library. Books from Monroe’s library were sold to benefit Literacy Partners.
Christie’s New York: The Personal Property of Marilyn Monroe, October 27-28, 1999. Click here to buy your copy of the Christie’s auction catalog for the sale of Marilyn Monroe’s personal items.