(CNN) – A series of love letters, handwritten by former President John F. Kennedy to his Swedish lover, sold Wednesday at a Boston auction house for more than $ 88,000.
The intimate letters, addressed to Gunilla von Post, an aristocrat whom he met weeks before his marriage – in 1953 – to Jacqueline Bouvier, reveal that Kennedy describes their time together as a “shining memory of my life.”
The eight-page collection, which included a full letter and two partial messages, came from Von Post’s personal collection and was initially expected to fetch $ 30,000. Von Post passed away in 2011 and wrote a memoir – in 1997 – about his relationship with the former president entitled “With love, Jack.”
Written between 1955 and 1956, the love letters predate Kennedy’s presidency. He was serving as a senator from Massachusetts at the time, and the notes were on United States Senate letterhead.
In them, Kennedy reflected on the couple’s romantic trip to Sweden and responded to the news that Von Post was about to get married. The future president told Von Post that he was “eager” to see her, calling her “wonderful” in a letter. In another, he signed simply “Jack.”
Von Post and Kennedy met in the summer of 1953 in Cannes, a few weeks before Kennedy and Bouvier’s wedding on September 12. According to RR Auction’s lot list, they later “spent a very happy and intimate week consummating the relationship” in Sweden in August 1955, almost two years after their marriage.
The auction house said that “Kennedy’s efforts to end her marriage and bring her to the United States” were “thwarted by her father, his political ambitions, and Kennedy and Von Post’s mutual sensitivity to Jacqueline’s miscarriage. in 1955 ».
In a letter dated February 1956, Kennedy appeared to respond to the news of Von Post’s marriage to landlord Anders Ekman. He wrote: “I must say I was saddened to learn that you are not coming to America after all and marrying a farmer.”
Referring to the couple’s trip to Sweden, he continued: “I was planning to come back next summer to see you. […] and what will happen now. In any case, let me know what you are going to do.
«If you don’t get married, come [a Estados Unidos], that I would like to see you. I had a wonderful time with you last summer. It is a brilliant memory of my life, you are wonderful and I miss you », he concluded.
The pair would only see each other once, in 1958 at a Waldorf Astoria gala, the auction house said. They both attended with their partners and Von Post was pregnant at the time.
The letters were part of a larger presidential memorabilia sale, which also includes autographed photos and personal letters written by Abraham Lincoln.
Another important piece of Kennedy’s history was also featured: a draft of the speech he wrote to announce his presidential candidacy in 1960. The manuscript The three-page book sold for more than $ 276,000.
It is not the first time that RR Auction has offered correspondence between Kennedy and a mistress. Another four-page love letter, written by Kennedy to another love interest, believed to be Mary Meyer, also passed under the auction hammer there in 2016. The letter was dated October 1963, a month before her murder, and it was never shipped.