Candid letters written by former U.S. First Lady Jackie Kennedy to a priest are set to go under the hammer in Ireland.
President John F. Kennedy’s wife wrote to Joseph Leonard, a Dublin-based priest, many times between 1950 and 1964 after meeting him on a trip to Europe, and the personal notes give an inside glimpse into her feelings about life and her relationship with the politician.
In one of the notes, Kennedy questioned her husband’s fidelity and compared him to her own father, writing, “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. I saw how that nearly killed Mommy.”
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The notes reveal her feelings about marrying a man so fully immersed in the world of politics, insisting she will never be “just a sad little housewife,” but she also compared her partner’s ambition to that of William Shakespeare’s tragic king Macbeth.
She also questioned her faith following Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, writing, “I think God must have taken Jack to show the world how lost we would be without him … But that is a strange way of thinking to me – and God will have a bit of explaining to do to me if I ever see him.”
The collection of 33 letters, written on personalized stationary, will go under the hammer along with a Christmas card signed by the former First Lady and her husband, and a note of condolence sent following Leonard’s death in 1964.
The sale is due to take place at Sheppard’s Irish Auction House in Durrow, Ireland on June 10 and is expected to bring in more than $1.3 million.