Given that Go Set A Watchman takes place after To Kill A Mockingbird, we would think that we should read it second. However, Go Set A Watchman was probably a first draft of To Kill A Mockingbird. I am not really sure in which order they should be read given these two pieces of conflicting information. Which of these should be read first?

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    I think a better question might be "Should Go Set a Watchman be considered a prequel or a first draft?" Because you would read those for two very different reasons, and that would be much more helpful in determining which to read first. Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 21:35
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    @LaurenIpsum I take your point. Would you like to edit that in? If not, I will.
    – Benjamin
    Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 21:39

1 Answer 1


Definitely read To Kill a Mockingbird first. Although Go Set a Watchman reads more as a first draft of To Kill a Mockingbird, without reading Mockingbird, much of the bigotry Atticus displays in Watchman will not be unusual. In Mockingbird, Atticus is portrayed as a hero defending the underprivileged blacks, and in Watchman, that illusion of him is completely shattered.

They're both great reads, but reading To Kill a Mockingbird first allows you to have a greater conceptual understanding and appreciation for Go Set a Watchman.

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