Jacqueline Kennedy Letters Reveal Feelings On Marriage To John F. Kennedy

Newly discovered letters reveal Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy's feelings about her marriage to President John F. Kennedy and reaction to his death. The 14 years of correspondence with an Irish priest will be auctioned in Ireland in June, The Irish Times reported.

In the letters with Fr. Joseph Leonard, Kennedy wrote in 1952 that her time with the then-senator gave her "an amazing insight on politicians -- they really are a breed apart."

She also wrote that then-boyfriend Kennedy was consumed by ambition "like Macbeth," and she noted her concern that Kennedy might be like her father, John Vernou Bouvier, a Wall Street stockbroker and socialite.

"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," she wrote.

In 1953, the year Kennedy married the senator, she wrote to Leonard: "Maybe I'm 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 you're in it -- and you're lonely -- it could be a Hell."

A year later, she wrote, "I love being married much more than I did even in the beginning."

Kennedy met Leonard, a Vincentian priest in Dublin, in 1950 when she was visiting Ireland. However, Kennedy saw Leonard only one other time, while she was visiting Ireland with her husband in 1955.

After JFK's assassination in 1963, Kennedy wrote that she was having difficulty finding comfort in her Catholic faith. However, "I have to think there is a God -- or I have no hope of finding Jack again."

In her last letter to the priest, before his death in 1964, she wrote, "I feel more cruelly every day what I have lost -- I always would have rather lost my life than lost Jack."

Jacqueline Kennedy died in 1994 at the age of 64. She never published an autobiography.

Philip Sheppard, a spokesman for the auction house selling the letters, called the words "in effect, her autobiography for the years 1950-1964." The lot includes 33 letters as well as 21 other pieces of correspondence and photos associated with Kennedy and Leonard, the New York Post reported.

The Irish Times said a reporter was told about the letters by the auction house and had an arrangement that allowed the publication to quote only a certain number of letters, and none of them in full, according to The Washington Post.

UPDATE: May 23 -- The letters will no longer be auctioned because the college discovered they did not own them, according to NBC News. Leonard's lost will was recovered and revealed the letters had been left to the Vincentian congregation rather than the college.

A spokeswoman for the college said the involvement of the Kennedy family was also a factor in the decision not to auction the letters.



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