Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
"She did it her own way and in her own terms." -John Jr Kennedy.
Upon finishing Sarah Bradford’s definitive biography: America’s Queen- The life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, I decided to dedicate a second post to Jackie Kennedy. Although previously documenting her younger ‘Inquiring Photographer’ days, I was absolutely inspired to read about how even in the twilight of her life, Jackie Kennedy was able to ‘break the nations heart and hold the country together’. In particular, I found Sarah Bradford’s conclusion, ‘Pilgram’s End’, most moving of all. For instance:
‘Courage, style but also with the sense of ritual and of theatre that had always attended her. TV lights lit up the night and hundreds of people crowded at a respectful distance outside the building. Inside 1040 Fifth Avenue, America’s Queen had met her death serenely, lying in her elegant bed, surrounded by her family and staff, attended by a few chosen friends. It was a scene that, over the ages, had attended the passing of kings, emperors, queens. Outside commentators were struggling to explain why this was happening in democratic America, why so many people mourned the disappearance of a rich, sixty-four-year old woman.
To the mourners Jackie was inextricably bound up with the history of their country and their time, an image of a better America that perhaps had existed only in their minds. She had been part of their lives for more than thirty years. The drawn face they saw in photographs taken in her last days had been real, no longer a beautiful mask. As her friend Edna O’Brien said, it was “the face of a woman who had indeed lived life and was about to live death…”. The nymph of Central Park, whose essence they had never really captured, had vanished before their eyes.’
-Sarah Bradford, America’s Queen- The Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.