Jacqueline Kennedy priest letters pulled from auction

A series of letters written by Jacqueline Kennedy to Irish priest Father Joseph Leonard throughout the 1950s and 1960s has been pulled from a June 10 auction at Sheppard's Irish Auction House.

The first letter in the $1.6m collection dates to 1952, the year before she married JFK, and the correspondence runs up until Leonard's death in 1964.

Jackie Kennedy letters
Kennedy wrote the correspondence during the 1950s and 1960s

The Vincentian Fathers of All Hallows College Dublin, which holds the papers, has given no reason for their withdrawal from auction.

"Representatives of All Hallows College and the Vincentian Fathers are now exploring with members of Mrs. Kennedy's family how best to preserve and curate this archive for the future," read the order's statement.

There had been complaints from some quarters, according to the BBC, that the letters were akin to a confessional, and therefore should not be made public.

The pair struck up a friendship after meeting through mutual acquaintances when a young Jacqueline Bouvier travelled to Ireland in 1950.

Much of the correspondence details the first lady's various interests in literature and the arts, but often she reveals more of herself - at one point she compares Kennedy to Macbeth in his pursuit of power.

Other letters written after his death relate her sense of grief and loss.    

Philip Sheppard, owner of Sheppard's Irish Auction House, commented prior to the letters' withdrawal: "The collection - comprised mostly of manuscript letters - reveals a fascinating insight into America's most famous First Lady and are an unique opportunity to acquire Kennedy-related unpublished primary source material that has never before been offered on the open market."

On May 2, her Dior clutch bag sold for $31,000 at Nate D Sanders.  

We have a range of Kennedy memorabilia available, including this incredible Christmas card signed by the whole family in 1962.

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