An important collection of letters from enigmatic movie star Greta Garbo (1905-1990) will appear in Sotheby’s December 11 English Literature sale.
Garbo trained as an actor in Sweden. She was chosen for stardom in 1925, after MGM head Louis B Mayer saw her in Mauritz Stiller’s movie The Saga of Gosta Berling.
Greta Garbo was never comfortable with her stardom
Instantly she became one of Hollywood’s most in-demand players, appearing in a string of classic movies. However, despite critical and audience acclaim, she was never comfortable with her star status.
She retired from the business in 1948 and lived out the rest of her life quietly in New York City.
All of the letters are written in Swedish and addressed to the Count and Countess Watchmeister, two of the few people Garbo allowed into her inner life.
The collection also includes photographs of the star taken at Tistad Castle, the Watchmeister’s home outside Stockholm.
In one of the letters she writes of her solitary life: “I am almost always alone and talk to myself.
“I drive to the beach and take walks and that's always marvellous. But that's it..."
The collection as a whole is valued at £15,000-20,000 ($19,697-26,262).
The sale will also include a number of classic book covers re-imagined by prominent illustrators, including Quentin Blake and Raymond Pettibon.
The proceeds will benefit the newly opened House of Illustration in London.
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