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    Description

    Jacqueline Kennedy Autograph Letter Signed
    "Jacqueline Kennedy". Six pages on mourning stationery, 6.25" x 9.25"; March 8, 1964. Addressed to John Steinbeck, in which Jackie Kennedy discusses her hopes that he would write a definitive biography of her late husband. It reads, in full:

    "I do thank you for your letter. Even if you never write your book about Jack - I will have your letter - which says - when our belief gets weak - the hero that we need comes - and you spoke of Jack with Budha, Jove, Jesus Apollo Baldur and Arthur. That is where I know he belongs - and with all the bitterness and vengeance and strength left in me - that is how I am going to make sure other people see him before I die. I never bridled at your using the word 'myth'. I just bridled when Max (my beloved Max) asked me when Jack's dedication started - in 1955? he said - I know when it did - so much earlier in a pain wracked childhood with a bully for an older brother. Anyway - we met - we talked - we left each other. Tom Quinzberg's book can wait - I can't worry about that now. If he wants to do such a book he should start to work on it in a most thorough and beautiful way - and come to me in a year or so when he has something - he knows that I care and will always be receptive. As for your book - please don't ask me to come and reminisce. That is so painful and I cannot do it without a reason. If you ever decide - or are on the verge of deciding to write your book and hearing me talked about Jack would help - then you must get in touch with me - I will do all I can for you and it won't be pleasant for me. I wish to leave you alone - I know the pain of writing. I do not wish to urge you to do anything. Sometimes I think in this bitter way - what can books be - now that we don't have Jack anymore? It was He that mattered - he was so alive. If you do write your book - just one thing I would like to say to you - the two people you will find who loved Jack the most and knew him the best are Bobby and me - you should decide to write or not write your book soon - because we cannot stay in the state that we are in now & survive - we will have to build up walls of protection for ourselves - and stop thinking about Jack every minute of the day and night - or we won't be able to do the dreary little tasks left to us - bringing up our children etc - always with a sad face. But now I (I cannot speak for Bobby - whom I love so much and who suffers so quietly) can speak of Jack - it is my only pleasure - a way still to be connected to him. Maybe I will still be able to in 5 or 10 years - but it won't be like now. So the whole point of this endless incoherent letter is to tell you that I hope you decide something soon. If you don't - it doesn't really matter I suppose, as you can write about John Kennedy without my deepest thoughts - he belongs to everyone now - and if you decide never to write - I will understand that. But I hope you will decide to do something soon - though I have the terrible feeling I may not even like what you write - you will see him through different eyes. But I feel one thing so strongly - we must all make the most awful effort - no matter what it costs us - for John Kennedy - because he made that effort all his life for us - in a little way it is me tonight writing you this letter - just sitting at my desk with mail piled over my head - and all I want to do is go to sleep - because that is the most longed for time of day - when you are unconscious - but you put it off 2 hours and answer letters for and about Jack. So if you loved Jack you must do that too - and make people know that we are back to the Stone Age now - but if they will just believe in all that Jack believed in - they will see some little ray of light before they die. With my apologies - your garrulous correspondent now passes into silence - I promise."

    The Steinbecks were in Europe when they received the news that John F. Kennedy had been assassinated. Upon their return to the U.S., they met with the First Lady, who expressed her wish that John would write her husband's biography. Ultimately, Steinbeck would decline to do so.

    Condition: Flattened folds, with a few light spots of soiling. Else very fine.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2019
    27th Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 12
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