John Lennon divorced his first wife, Cynthia Lennon, in 1968, after an acrimonious split that history pegs to the Beatle meeting and falling for Yoko Ono. But according to a 1976 letter from Lennon himself, that's not the case.
The newly surfaced letter addressed to Cynthia is one of two written by John Lennon about the end of his first marriage that RR Auction is currently selling (bidding ends Aug. 9). The other is an open letter to magazine editors; both were written by the former Beatle on Nov. 15, 1976 on Lenono Music letterhead. The first letter begins with a scornful observation.
"As you and I well know, our marriage was over long before the advent of L.S.D. or Yoko Ono ...; and that's reality!," he wrote in a sentence that ends with a comment taken directly from his song "God." Lennon then recalls her statements on how many times they took LSD ("you seem to have forgotten subsequent trips altogether!") and the time she asked him to remarry her and have another child ("I politely told you no") while he was temporarily separated from Ono. He then said that he didn't blame her for trying to cut herself away from the Beatles, but suggested she "should try to avoid talking to and posing for magazines and newspapers!"
John Lennon and first wife Cynthia Lennon
John Lennon and first wife Cynthia Lennon
UNSPECIFIED - : John LENNON and his first wife, Cynthia, April 23rd 1964. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
23rd April 1964: Singer-songwriter John Lennon (1940 - 1980) of The Beatles, with his wife Cynthia at the Dorchester Hotel, London, for a Foyles Luncheon after the publication of his first book, 'In His Own Write'. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)
Pop Group The Beatles May 1964 Two of The Beatles arrive at back at London Airport, from their holidays George Harrison and girlfriend Patti Boyd, John Lennon with wife Cynthia Lennon leaving the plane (Photo by Vic Crawshaw/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 26: John Lennon and wife Cynthia at London airport back from holiday on May 26, 1964 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
The Beatles in New York, arriving for a 10-day tour on Pan Am Flight 101, Kennedy Airport, New York, USA, Friday 7th February 1964. John Lennon and wife Cynthia Lennon. (Photo by Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
7th February 1964: Singer and songwriter John Lennon (1940 - 1980), of British pop group The Beatles, and his wife Cynthia wait for a flight to New York at London Airport. John is wearing the 15 guinea Mary Quant hat that sparked a recent trend. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)
The Beatles in New York, arriving for a 10-day tour on Pan Am Flight 101, Kennedy Airport, New York, USA, Friday 7th February 1964. Cynthia Lennon, wife of John Lennon. (Photo by Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
(Original Caption) Of Brides and The Beatles. London: These Beatles who have taken brides, and that includes all but Paul McCartney, married girls from ordinary walks of life. Left, John Lennon and his wife Cynthia, a former art student like John, wait for a plane at London Airport. Right, George Harrison gives his new bride Patti Boyd, an ex-hairdresser turned model, a kiss soon after their wedding last month.
7 February 1964 John Lennon with wife Cynthia on the aircraft to New York, USA for the first Beatles tour of America. (Photo by Unknown/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
*** EXCLUSIVE ***
DORSET, UK: FILE PICTURE shows The Beatles legend John Lennon enjoying a secret holiday with wife Cynthia, circa 1965.
The singer-songwriter's first wife Cynthia has died aged 75 at her home in Mallorca following a battle with cancer.
PHOTOGRAPH BY Peter Sandeman / Barcroft Media (Photo credit should read Peter Sandeman / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - CIRCA 1960: John Lennon and wife Cynthia in a joking mood in their secret home outside London, in the United Kingdom, circa 1960. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
(Original Caption) John Lennon's first wife, Cynthia, and their 17-year-old son, Julian, leave their home here Dec. 9 for an undisclosed destination.
(Original Caption) 7/31/1970-London, England- Italian film director Roberto Bassini and his wife, Cynthia, the former wife of Beatle John Lennon, leave the wedding registry office here, July 31, after their wedding. The groom holds Julian Lennon, Cynthia's child by her previous marriage.
UNITED KINGDOM : Caption reads: 'How to stop the traffic - John and Cynthia Lennon last night'. John Lennon (1940-1980) formed the Beatles in 1960 with Paul McCartney (1942-), George Harrison (1943-2001) and Ringo Starr (1940-) in Liverpool, England. They went on to become the most successful pop group of all time and finally split in 1970. Lennon married his first wife Cynthia Powell (1939-) in 1962 and they had one child together, Julian (1963-). Following his divorce from Cynthia in 1968 John Lennon married the Japanese avant-garde artist Yoko Ono in March 1969. Lennon was murdered on 8 December 1980 in New York by Mark Chapman. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)
*** Local Caption *** CL3756 -013 a.k.a. CL3755 -013 (Photo by MSI/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
Beatles singer and songwriter John Lennon (1940 - 1980) and guitarist George Harrison (1943 - 2001) host the Apple boutique grand opening in Baker Street, London, UK, 5 December 1967. On the left is Harrison's wife, Patti Boyd with her sister Jenny Boyd and Cynthia Lennon. (Photo by Terry O'Neill/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
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The first letter ends on a more upbeat note. "We did have some good years, so dwell on them for a change, and as Dylan says, 'It was a "Simple Twist of Fate,'" a not-so-subtle reference to the title of her first book about him called A Twist of Lennon.
The second one, an open letter to a magazine, reads, "Dear sir or madam, I would appreciate this letter being printed in your magazine without any editing. I think it's only fair to me and your readers to present my side of the story. Thank you, John Lennon '76" with a sketch added to it. According to Bobby Livingston, Executive Vice President at RR Auction, the open letter was in response to the British tabloid News of the World publishing advance excerpts of Cynthia Lennon's book. Bidding for the package as of Tuesday (Aug. 8) afternoon was just under $7,900.
Also being sold separately by the auction house in the auction is a book signed by Lennon called Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall by British comic Spike Milligan, which was originally gifted to his friend, Harry Nilsson. The hardcover book is signed "For Harry, I told you so! Love, John, 74'," with a smiley face with glasses. Nilsson also signed the book. Estimated value by the auction house is $3,000.
Deadline for initial bids is 6 p.m. ET Wednesday. Interested parties must place a bid by that time to be included in the extended bidding period. More information is on the auction website.
The Beatles Most Iconic Moments
The Beatles Most Iconic Moments
The Beatles perform in Liverpool's Cavern Club, with Pete Best on drums, 1962. Best was fired from the group that same year, and replaced with Ringo Starr. (Photo by Mark and Colleen Hayward/Getty Images)
1963: Rock and roll band 'The Beatles' pose for a portrait in 1963. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 7: The Beatles arrive at John F. Kennedy International Airport, February 7, 1964. At top is Ringo Starr, middle row is John Lennon and Paul McCartney, lower level is George Harrison and unidentified flight attendant. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 9: The Beatles prepare for their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in New York, February 9, 1964. From left to right, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr (in background, on drums), George Harrison, John Lennon. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 16: The Beatles at Shea Stadium. Our Mets have displayed their antic behavior before some good crowds at Shea Stadium but last night's turnaway mob of shrieking teeners tested the solidity of the ballpark as they flocked to see Britain's moptop quartet in concert. Scores were injured in the crush or overcome by the humid heat but luckily no one required hospitalization. (Photo by Dan Farrell/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 12: PLYMOUTH HOE Photo of MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR and BEATLES, L-R: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr - posed, group shot - during Magical Mystery Tour. (Photo by David Redfern/Redferns)
24th June 1967: British pop group The Beatles holding banners proclaiming 'All You Need Is Love' in four languages, in preparation for a global television performance of their song of the same name. (Photo by Doug McKenzie/Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 01: Paul MAC CARTNEY, George HARRISON, Ringo STARR and in front John LENNON interpreting the song I'M THE WALRUS disguised as animals, in a scene from the film MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
British musican and artist John Lennon (1940 - 1980) holds Japanese-born artist and musician Yoko Ono in his arms, December 1968. (Photo by Susan Wood/Getty Images)
The four members of the British group the BEATLES posing together on August 2, 1967. At that time they stopped their concerts, wore the moustache and announced their separation despite their last album to come, ABBEY ROAD in 1970. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
Photo of BEATLES; George Harrison, Ringo Starr, John lennon & Paul McCartney with actress Jane Asher, Maureen Starkey and Pattie Boyd at a party to celebrate the musician's 25th birthday at Rishikesh, India, 25th February 1968. (Photo by Cummings Archives/Redferns)
Staff Photo by Jill Brady, Wednesday, August 9, 2006: Beatles Abbey Road record album. (Photo by Jill Brady/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)