Jackie O's Secrets Found in 14 Years of Letters

Writings offer 'autobiography' from 1950 to 1964

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted May 13, 2014 11:48 AM CDT | Updated May 17, 2014 7:35 AM CDT

(Newser) – A trove of letters spanning more than a decade is offering new insight into the world of Jackie Kennedy, describing her engagement to the future president and her experience after his assassination. The previously unpublished letters to Fr. Joseph Leonard, a Dublin priest, will be auctioned in Ireland next month, the Irish Times reports. Kennedy became friends with Leonard, then 73, when she visited Ireland in 1950, and they stayed in touch, the Irish Times notes. The letters "are, in effect, her autobiography for the years 1950 to 1964," says a rep for Sheppard's Irish Auction House. Among their most fascinating quotations:

  • Jackie noted that John F. Kennedy's ambitions made him "like Macbeth." Politicians, she wrote, "really are a breed apart." But she feared that John's similarity to her father could be dangerous, she wrote in 1952. He "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 Mummy."
  • Part of her was attracted to the limelight, she wrote in 1953, picturing herself in "a glittering world of crowned heads and Men of Destiny—and not just a sad little housewife … That world can be very glamorous from the outside—but if you’re in it—and you’re lonely—it could be a Hell."
  • After JFK's assassination, she felt "bitter against God" but felt she had to believe in him, "or I have no hope of finding Jack again," she wrote. "God will have a bit of explaining to do to me if I ever see Him.”
The letters may sell for up to $1.6 million, the Washington Post notes. How the auction house got them hasn't been revealed.

In this Aug. 17, 1961, file photo, Jacqueline Kennedy and her Cape Cod neighbor Bunny Mellon step into the lobby of the Colonial Theatre in Boston.
In this Aug. 17, 1961, file photo, Jacqueline Kennedy and her Cape Cod neighbor Bunny Mellon step into the lobby of the Colonial Theatre in Boston.   (AP Photo/File)
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