Letters written by Jacqueline Kennedy, or Jackie Kennedy as she is famously known, sent regularly to an Irish priest are to be auctioned next month by an Irish auction house.
Over the years, between 1950 and 1964, Jackie Kennedy wrote a total of 33 letters to Father Joseph Leonard, a Vincentian priest living in Dublin. Needless to say, the time period was the most crucial in the life of Jackie. “These letters are, in effect, her autobiography for the years 1950-1964” shared Philip Sheppard, a spokesman for Sheppard’s Irish Auction House, reported The Irish Times.
To get an idea of the importance of the letters, consider the fact that the correspondence, which continued until Fr. Leonard’s death, covers the whole period of Jacqueline’s marriage to John F. Kennedy, her time as first lady, and her grief at her husband’s assassination in November 1963.
The letters written by Jackie Kennedy are quite soul bearing and reveal what ailed the first lady. These letters include detailed descriptions of her mental state of mind and chronicle her insecurities. Essentially, she treated these letters as a rudimentary form of confessions that might have helped her maintain her calm and composed exterior for her President husband, reported National Post.
While everyone loved and enjoyed John F. Kennedy’s flamboyant and outgoing nature, it was Jackie Kennedy who quietly suffered, reveals the letter. In one of them she raised concerns about her husband not loving her anymore. “He’s like my father in a way — loves the chase and is bored with the conquest — and once married needs proof he’s still attractive, so flirts with other women and resents you,” said the then-Jacqueline Bouvier.
The letters started coming to Father Joseph even before she married JFK. Interestingly, even during the courtship, Jackie had doubts about her husband’s faithfulness. In one of her early letters she likened Kennedy, then a Massachusetts congressman, to Shakespeare’s Macbeth because of his ambition, and worried that he would be unfaithful to her.
Thereafter, the letters were sent at regular intervals. The majority of the letters aren’t handwritten. Jackie Kennedy preferred to use her trusty Royal Electric typewriter to compose the letters and signed at the bottom.
The 130 pages will eventually go under the hammer next month and they can easily serve as a detailed and first–hand collective narrative highlighting Jackie Kennedy’s hastily broken off engagement to a New York stockbroker, her courtship and marriage to Mr. John F. Kennedy, and her intense grief and anger over his killing.
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