A secret red box filled with love letters! It doesn’t get much more fascinating than that.
But it does. Because these love letters were written by Jackie Kennedy and David Ormsby Gore also known as Lord Harlech who happened to be a former British Ambassador to the United States during the Cuban missile crisis.
How interesting that these letters have come to light right now – just when the movie about Jackie as played by Natalie Portman, has been released.
So how did the love letters come to light and why have they just surfaced?
A report in the New York Times reveals that David’s grandson, the present Lord Harlech who inherited David’s title, decided to sell the letters to help save the stately ancestral home which has fallen into disrepair.
Apparently the letters had been kept for over 40 years in two red government boxes. But the keys were lost and the locks had to be cut open for the auction company, Bonhams.
Said Matthew Haley of Bonhams: “It was one of those astonishing moments when you can’t quite believe what you’re seeing.”
Among the letters in the box was this love letter from Jackie Kennedy in which she refused David Ormsby Gore’s proposal of marriage.
Picture: Andrew Testa, New York Times
In the letter she writes: “If ever I can find some healing and some comfort—it has to be with somebody who is not part of all my world of past and pain.
“I can find that now—if the world will let us.”
Apparently David was stunned by her decision to marry Onassis who was 23 years her senior.
So she added: “Please know — you of all people must know it — that we can never really see into the heart of another. You know me. And you must know that the man you write of in your letter is not a man that I could marry.”
And by way of further explanation she continue that Onassis was “lonely and wants to protect me from being lonely. And he is wise and kind. Only I can decide if he can, and I decided.”
So that’s the background. And we know the content of the letter. But what can we say about Jackie’s handwriting?
Jackie Kennedy’s Handwriting
The extract from this letter is just large enough to show us that Jackie Kennedy was creative and stylish – which is hardly news to us. The interesting part is that this is borne out by the handwriting because of its elegant clear style; the artistic balloon-like upper loops as seen in the f’s and the clean, open spacing.
That Jackie Kennedy was a deeply lonely woman is also plain to see. And this was in spite of the adoration of the public, the fashionable parties she attended and the many celebrities that she knew and associated with.
She disliked being criticized and so she felt a need to protect herself from the glare of publicity. The back slant and wide spacing between words and lines attest to all this.
There is also evidence of her strong ambition in the long upstrokes of the t-bars.
Famous Love Letters in Handwriting
I have just written a little ebook “Famous Love Letters in Handwriting.”
I have included pictures of the love letters together with descriptions of what the handwriting tells you about each handwritten letter.
Contact me if you would like a free copy