“Man’s Supreme Inheritance”
A Book from Marilyn Monroe’s Personal Library

“Man’s Supreme Inheritance” by F. Matthias Alexander.

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Photographed with Marilyn while in her Beverly Carlton Hotel studio apartment.

This item provides an intimate look into the intellectual mind of Marilyn Monroe, with numerous annotated passages throughout the first 157 pages of the book.

“…in both instances all depends on the point of view, we cannot be surprised that the mere promise to reform is usually futile, and we must furthermore realize that a changed point of view is the royal road to reformation.”

Marilyn’s bookmark from Pickwick Book Shop, which can be seen inside of this book when photographed with Marilyn, is still on page 157. There are no markings or annotations after this bookmark. An additional bookmark still marks page 95.

The photo of Marilyn below was taken inside of her studio apartment at the Beverly Carlton Hotel.

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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.

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Provenance:

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.

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