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Kathleen Kennedy kicks over the traces

JFK’s charming, rebellious younger sister defied her parents and captivated the English aristocracy. Two biographies, by Paula Byrne and Barbara Leaming, show how it all ended in tragedy

4 June 2016

9:00 AM

4 June 2016

9:00 AM

Kick: The True Story of Kick Kennedy, JFK’s Forgotten Sister and the Heir to Chatsworth Paula Byrne

William Collins, pp.352, £20, ISBN: 9780007548125

Kick Kennedy: The Charmed Life and Tragic Death of the Favorite Kennedy Daughter Barbara Leaming

Thomas Dunne Books, St Martin’s Press, pp.292, £19.99, ISBN: 9781250071316

Kathleen Kennedy and her elder brother JFK were the grandchildren of upwardly mobile Irish Catholic immigrants. John F. Fitzgerald, ‘Honey Fitz’, became mayor of Boston, and Patrick J. Kennedy was a saloon-keeper and failed senatorial candidate who sent his sons to Harvard. ‘Kick’ was the fourth child, nicknamed for her ebullient personality, but born just as her mother, Rose, was thinking of leaving her serially unfaithful husband, Joe Kennedy Snr, who made his huge fortune from Hollywood studios and booze.

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