Newly-discovered letters written by Jacqueline Kennedy to an Irish priest reveal premonitions of her husband’s infidelity and her heartbreak following his untimely assassination.
In her 14-year correspondence with Reverend Joseph Leonard, a Vincentian priest in Dublin, Kennedy compared her husband to her successful, womanising father, John Vernou “Black Jack” Bouvier.
According to The Irish Times, Kennedy predicted that her husband’s inherent nature would eventually lead him to infidelity.
“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,” Kennedy, then Bouvier, wrote of her future husband in July 1952. “I saw how that nearly killed Mummy.”
He loves the chase and is bored with the conquest.
Before their 1953 marriage, Bouvier enjoyed the glitzy world of Washington with her boyfriend, but expressed discontent to her Irish pen pal.
“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,” she wrote in 1953.
“That world can be very glamorous from the outside — but if you’re in it — and you’re lonely — it could be a Hell.”
Despite rumours of affairs, Jacqueline was heartbroken after her husband’s 1963 assassination and struggled with maintaining her faith.
“I have to think there is a God — or I have no hope of finding Jack again,” she shared with Leonard after her husband’s murder.
“God will have a bit of explaining to do to me if I ever see Him.”
The unknown current owner of the letters is auctioning them on June 10, through Sheppard’s Irish Auction House in Durrow. The letters are expected to go for between US$550,000 (($587,000) and US$1.1 million.