Publisher description for Jacqueline Bouvier : an intimate memoir / John H. Davis.
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Her style and elegance charmed the world. Her dignity and grace captured our hearts. Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. Jackie O. Mrs. Kennedy. Or just Jackie.
As beloved First Lady, tireless patron of the arts, dedicated career woman, and devoted mother, she lived at the center of the world's stage. Yet, until recently, her early years, from childhood to young adulthood--the formative years that shaped her character--remained wrapped in private memories. In Jacqueline Bouvier, family historian and bestselling author John H. Davis opens the window on his memories of his celebrated first cousin in her youth.
Extraordinarily intimate and touching, Jacqueline Bouvier is a tale of two childhoods. Davis's mother and Jackie's father were sister and brother, and John Davis and Jacqueline, born just weeks apart, spent their summers together on their grandfather's East Hampton estate and frequently met at family holiday gatherings. Secure in the heart of privilege, they grew up in the gilded townhouses and grand ballrooms of New York City, the equestrian circles of Long Island, and the mansion society of Newport.
Jackie's mother, Janet Lee, a high-strung and strong-willed young woman, had been determined to marry into Society. She did, after meeting the dashing playboy stockbroker John "Black Jack" Bouvier, whose family could trace its American roots back more than a century. Jacqueline's Grandfather Bouvier was a gentleman of the old school who kept a household where strict rules of dress and decorum were enforced. He instilled in his grandchildren a deep sense of aristocratic lineage, a characteristic that would influence Jackie's highly developed aesthetic sense and extraordinary strength of character. Ironically, Jackie's maternal grandfather, James T. Lee, was a self-made millionaire whose rise from rags to riches oddly paralleled that of her future father-in-law, Joseph P. Kennedy.
Jacqueline Lee Bouvier was born on July 28, 1929. Her idyllic early childhood--she became a passionate equestrienne, winning her first blue ribbon at the age of five--was shattered by her parents' bitter divorce when she was only seven years old. The ensuing emotional tug-of-war for her loyalty and devotion, fueled by her own conflicting feelings for her overly critical mother and her overly indulgent father, would haunt Jackie even on the day of her wedding to John Kennedy in 1953. From her father's unpublished letters to her come new insights into their fateful relationship.
After attending Vassar, the Sorbonne, and Georgetown, Jackie worked as an inquiring photographer for a newspaper in Washington, D.C., and it was here that the vibrant, ambitious young woman encountered the young congressman from Massachusetts. Their courtship would culminate in what Life magazine dubbed "The Wedding of the Year." At that moment, the intensely private young woman began a new life as one of the most famous public figures of the century.
"His memories of the family's summer gatherings in East Hampton are tinged with moving nostalgia. . . . His personal reminiscences of Jackie's White House years are irresistible." --The New York Times on The Bouviers
"Davis does a magnificent job of narrating this family chronicle." --Los Angeles Times on The Bouviers
"A consistently fascinating saga." --Time magazine on The Guggenheims
"Every American should read this book." --Liz Smith, New York Daily News on The Kennedys
Jacqueline Bouvier re-creates the people, places, and events that shaped her young life. Lavishly illustrated with vintage family photographs--some never before published--it is a revealing, rewarding story, told with warmth, honesty, and great affection.
Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Onassis, Jacqueline Kennedy, 1929- Childhood and youth, Celebrities United States Biography, Presidents' spouses United States Biography