London, South Kensington
25 May 2006
A rare letter, typed, signed and illustrated by John Lennon and sent to his ex-wife Cynthia, 22nd June, 1974, the friendly letter utilizing John's newly acquired typing skills ...as you can see, I learned to TYPE!.., complete with a number of typos, concerns arrangements for their son Julian to visit his father in the States, Lennon's direct involvement with the plans for the visit, and the consideration he displays towards Cynthia suggest that at this time in 1974, whilst he was temporarily separated from Yoko and with May Pang, [despite giving his address at the head of this letter as 1.W&72 NY.NY.apt.72 his and Yoko's Dakota address, he was living with May Pang at the time at 434 East 52nd Street, New York] his relationship with his ex-wife and son was on a positive and harmonious footing: ....[as] its getting near JULIANS holiday...I thought I'd ask you when I should send May over for him. how long etc etc...;
- As Ray Coleman wrote about this unusual letter, it ...carried a tone of conviviality and affection...and revealed a surprising ..interest in his Liverpool past. He asked to be remembered to Helen [Anderson] a mutual friend of his and Cynthia's when they were all at Liverpool Art College and inquired about other student cronies of his youth... which would suggest that John was making a particular effort with Cynthia by alluding to their mutual past;
- Lennon's humour and feelings of bonhomie are most prevelant when signing off: ..lots of love, to you, JULIAN/and LIL** your famous exhusband john additionally signed John in black felt pen and boldly illustrated with a large, decorative, smiling self-portrait caricature in multi-coloured felt pens, 1p.;
- the letter accompanied by an autographed note, signed, from Cynthia Lennon stating that this was: The only letter I received form John since our divorce in '68. Written/typed during his time with May Pang... (2)
Ex-lot 627 The Cynthia Lennon Collection included in the auction of Musical Instruments and Pop, Christie's South Kensington, 28th August 1991.
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COLEMAN, Ray John Lennon - The Definitive Biography, London: Pan, 2000 pp. 10-11
LENNON, Cynthia John, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2005, pp.327, 329, 336-338
It would appear that there is more to this personal letter from John to Cynthia than first meets the eye. The fact that Lennon himself participated in the arrangements for Julian's visit is a reflection on the significanse of the occasion for both father and son, it was afterall the first time they were to have seen each other for three years. Relations between Cynthia and John and Yoko had seemingly reached a particularly low point in 1971 when John had left England to live in the States without a word to her or Julian. According to Cynthia's recent memoirs ...there was no word from him between 1971 and 1974, apart from birthday and Christmas presents for Julian each year, sent by his London office with no personal note or card...
The idea for Julian's holiday.. mentioned in this letter was apparently Cynthia's, having read press reports of John and Yoko's separation, she managed to contact John and suggested she should bring Julian over to see him, an idea which as evidenced by this happy letter, really pleased John.
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