Skip to comments.Letters to priest provide rare insight into life of Jackie Kennedy
Posted on 05/13/2014 9:48:15 AM PDT by NYer
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedys thoughts about her marriage to , their life in the and her reaction to his assassination are revealed in newly discovered letters she wrote to an Irish priest before and after she became first lady of the United States.
The archive of her 14-year-long correspondence with a Vincentian priest who lived in in in Dublin will be sold at an auction in Ireland next month.
In the previously unpublished letters, Jackie tells Fr Leonard how Kennedy, who was then a rising star in American politics, was consumed by ambition like Macbeth.
In a letter sent in July 1952, she said her time with him had given her an amazing insight on politicians they really are a breed apart.
She described with great excitement how she was in love with the son of the ambassador to England, but expressed concern he might prove to be like her father, John Vernou Bouvier.
Hes like my father in a way loves the chase and is bored with the conquest and once married needs proof hes still attractive, so flirts with other women and resents you. I saw how that nearly killed Mummy.
Men of Destiny
In a letter written in 1953, when she was still only 23, she confided to Fr Leonard: Maybe Im just dazzled and picture myself 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 youre in it and youre lonely it could be a Hell.
However, after a year of marriage she wrote to him: I love being married much more than I did even in the beginning.
After her husbands assassination in 1963, she confided to Fr Leonard how she became bitter against God and struggled to find comfort in her deep Catholic faith.
I have to think there is a God or I have no hope of finding Jack again. She added, with bittersweet humour: God will have a bit of explaining to do to me if I ever see Him.
Although her public life has been subject to the most intense scrutiny, Jackie didnt publish an autobiography and no memoir appeared after her death in 1994 at the age of 64.
Her obituary in the New York Times noted that her silence about her past, especially about the Kennedy years and her marriage to the president, was always something of a mystery.
The archive of letters to Fr Leonard has been consigned to in Durrow, Co Laois.
Spokesman Philip Sheppard said the letters were the dream find of a lifetime for an auctioneer and they included simply astounding fresh insights that transform our understanding of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy.
He said: They are, in effect, her autobiography for the years 1950-1964.
Video at above link. Ping!
I have to think there is a God or I have no hope of finding Jack again.
Sorry, Jackie, but Jack may have a lot of women surrounding him, and they will probably all be scantily clad, to match the locale...
She described with great excitement how she was in love with “the son of the ambassador to England”, but expressed concern he might prove to be like her father, John Vernou Bouvier.
“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 Mummy.”
No surprise. Girls grow up to marry a man like dear old daddy.
Yep, I could imagine Jack when Jackie died, going “Oh crap, the party’s over.”
JFK committed adultery two or three times a day. And I think everyone in the White House knew it. That couldn’t have been easy for Jackie to deal with.
Meanwhile, the press covered up for him, and went on and on and on about Camelot. Sickening.
That's called CLASS and DIGNITY, something The New York Times would naturally be unfamiliar with.
Not everyone feels the need to whore out themselves and their personal problems all over the media.
I bet she thought those letters were private.
she was a high priced whore. plain and simple.
It doesn’t seem right to publicize them IMO.
Gee, I can't imagine why! Maybe because the media was protecting her and didn't ask any questions?!
“she was a high priced whore. plain and simple.”
Arguably, one of the few members of what PJ O’ROurke dubbed “the bog trotters circus” who was not a walking, talking example of bad behavior.
Right. Either the church or her kids released them. Its not a good statement about the ones who did.
I dont’ think the letters should have been released. However, nothing quoted reflects poorly on her. She was a young girl reflecting on marriage in a fairly mature way. And the statements after Jack died were appropriate.
Nixon thought the tapes were his property and would be kept secret as well
I tend to agree although not in the context of a confessional it seems that private correspondence with a priest should be kept confidential I’m sure the priest would be horrified that these personal communications are being “ sold to the highest bidder.”
That being said, Jackie knew the kind of man she was marrying and married him anyway. Jack actually dated her older sister before her and entered the bathroom in her home where he knew she was bathing. He took one look at her and said something to the effect of “ You will do nicely in my bed” Women will always be attracted to powerful men even if they are morally corrupt.
And GRACE. Don't forget GRACE. :-)
(Hope the hotlink works).
I’m with you...I’m also thinking that she considered those letters private.
She was probably about as deep as a thimble.
I don’t judge any man’s soul. God won’t let me. But not judging doesn’t mean we should abandon judgment and discernment. The idea that Jack Kennedy or any of the Kennedy brothers is likely to hear “Well done, my good and faithful servant” on Judgment Day is a bit unlikely. I don’t think I’m stretching things much when I estimate there is at least a 99% chance that the Kennedy brothers all died in their evil, unrepentant ways.
Jackie-IMO-typified the air headed socialities of the 50`s (today too). Bored, superficial and a bit slow. She knew what Kennedy was and married anyway. She was just as ambitious and shallow as JFK.
Good luck with that!
Oh yeah, because this is exactly the same thing. Totally, Dude! Too bad it took so long to release these official records of her high crimes and misdemeanors. It’s too late to impeach her now. We’ll have to settle for just calling her a whore.
Thing is, that she had to marry well, since back then women did as well as their husbands, good or bad, it depended on the man.
“Meanwhile, the press covered up for him, and went on and on and on about Camelot. Sickening.”
Camelot , Macbeth .... pretty much the same thing, right?
I agree. This is perhaps just a step removed from the seal of the confessional.
Jackie was a big girl and a smart one. She knew what she was getting into. She married for money.
AND then, she became "Jackie O." Onassis had more money than God.
I bet she didn't. If she DID, then she would have destroyed them LONG, LONG ago. Do YOU keep stuff that is embarrassing to you? Or do you dump it for REAL?
If Jackie had had ANY qualms about the "privacy" of her letters, she should have BURNED them LONG before. She knew what the media are like. She KNEW that her letters would be of some perverted value. She kept them because she WANTED them to be read someday.
Do YOU keep stuff that is compromising to you? Even in a safety deposit box?
I sure don't.
Air headed-ness is NOT the bailiwick of socialites. It is part and parcel of one's I.Q., personality and upbringing. That is, it's part of human nature.
God made us, so He bequeathed us that part of ourselves. Perhaps it was His sense of humor. He DID invent the sense of humor.
Not a fan of the Kennedy family at all. Just don’t like Holier than thou types who think they know what type of relationship someone has with their maker.
(That being said. Jfk was more conservative than any president that came after him, save Reagan....that includes Nixon ford and both bushes. )
Jackie didn’t keep the letters. They are letters Jackie wrote to a priest, who died in 1964. They would have been in HIS possession, not hers. The article didn’t say who came into possession of them after his death. The article also didn’t say what happened to the letters the priest wrote to her, which would have been part of her estate (if she kept them), but have not been leaked or sold to my knowledge.
If I had READ the article I might have responded better but I am only reading comments. THAT'LL teach me...for a while.
Was she supposed to fly to Dublin after mailing each letter, break into the priest’s home, and steal the letters back one at a time, or should she have waited until the end of their 17 year correspondence and retrieved them in bulk?
Even if they had been in her possession, that doesn’t mean she wanted them to be made public. They were personal letters. Very personal letters.
Personal does not mean embarrassing. I do possess personal items that I would not want sold to the highest bidder. For example, I have a note my Mom wrote to me years ago, when I was experiencing a difficult personal tragedy. It’s a very touching and inspirational note. Nothing embarrassing, but certainly personal. When I die, my family members will go through my belongings and find that note. They will read it, and be touched by it, as I am whenever I read it. They will not sell it to the highest bidder.
How do you destroy letters that you sent?
These are letters she sent to a priest when she was quite young. I am sure she thought they would be kept confidential. As they should have been.
BUT I am not famous. Jackie O. was and KNEW that her letters to ANYONE would be of interest down the line.
Of course, 100 years from now the folks will be saying "Jackie who?" So, I guess that in the end, it doesn't matter.
I KNOW for a fact that I don't care who wrote what to her, about her or for her.