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John: by Cynthia Lennon

Updated on August 9, 2015
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John Lennon: A biography by his first wife

Of course, there have been millions of words written about John Lennon, but it's certainly refreshing to read about his early life and his early days with the Beatles through the eyes of the woman who shared those years; John's wife Cynthia.

From an insider

I suspect that many of the people who have written about Lennon's life had never even met him, or decided that they had a special knowledge based on a short friendship or interview session. But it can't be denied that Cynthia, who was just eighteen when she met him at art college, knew him better than anyone.

Dispelled myths

It's now over thirty years ago that John was shot outside his home. In those years, he has attained a status that is almost mythical. For people under forty years old, their only knowledge about John will be what they are fed by the media. Cynthia puts the story straight.

The Beatles

Cynthia was there from the start. Before the Beatles even began, she and John were teenage lovers. She saw the development of the group and the end. The world remembers that when he died, Lennon's wife was Yoko Ono - maybe there are some people who don't even know that Cynthia existed. But there can't be anyone who can offer such a valuable insight into the early day of the group - and of John Lennon himself.

Cynthia and Julian

Most fans know that Cynthia is the mother of John's eldest son, Julian.

But few people know what happened to the pair of them after Yoko came along. Julian was just a little boy at the time but Cynthia was secure in the knowledge that John had a strong sense of family, as he'd demonstrated many times by the way he'd taken care of his Liverpool aunts, sisters and other relatives.

She was sure that he'd still be a good father to Julian.

She was wrong.

Imagine This
Imagine This

This is the book that I'm reading now. This was written by John's sister and reveals more about his family background and early life. When you read the book above, you'll see that Cynthia intimates that John's history has, to a large extent, been re-written by Yoko. Are we getting to know the truth at last?

 

The foreword of the book has been written by Julian Lennon

This is an extract.

John Lennon by his family

It's remarkably interesting, fascinating in fact, to read books about John Lennon's life written by the members of his family.

I have to admit that his story fascinates me and I've read several books over the years. The interesting thing is that they often contradict each other.So what is the truth?

Can we assume that books written by people who really knew John are more accurate than those written by journalists or people who just met him on one or two occasions? I believe that we can.

Can the book by Cynthia be the product of 'a woman scorned'? It's tempting to believe this but I don't think it's the case. Lennon's early life,of which she was a great part, is very well documented. In the book,she comes across as honest, sincere and truthful. Her main motivations were those of a mother - her goal was to protect her son.

The memories of his sister Julia are equally honest. She knew John well when she was a little girl. Her mother has been hugely reviled by authors and yes, I think that there's an element in her book of setting the record straight.

What I do have a hard time with is trusting the honestly of John's second wife, Yoko Ono. Is this because she's from a different culture? (Japanese American as opposed to English). Is it because I have the stories that she was responsible for the breakup of the Beatles in mind?

Is it because, unconventional though I think I am,she strikes me as being just a little weird?

I don't think it's any of the above.I believe that it's the way she tries to rewrite history by banning books or documentaries by legal means if she believes John isn't portrayed in the exact way she wants.

I can understand that this is an almost instinctive reaction but I also believe that we deserve to know the truth.

© 2014 Jackie Jackson

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    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @LynneMox: Brilliant, isn't it?

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @RoadMonkey: I suspect that you're right. He was brought up by strict and domineering aunt and it seems that Yoko took her place. This was sad for Cynthia because I get the feeling that she always loved him but wasn't the incredibly strong character he needed. Being from Liverpool and from her generation, she thought that women looked after the home and children and a man looked after his wife. She had no desire to be the dominant one.

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      LynneMox 4 years ago

      This was a wonderful read.

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 4 years ago

      Yes, I remember at the time that John Lennon didn't seem to take much notice of his son. It always surprised me, especially as I don't think he ever had any other children. Yoko Ono just seemed to take over, maybe that was what he wanted.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @fullofshoes: I really think you'd enjoy it. She seems to be a lovely lady and it seems clear to me that she always loved John and wanted the best for him and for their son.

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      fullofshoes 4 years ago

      I haven't read Cynthia's book but I'd like to... From the bits and pieces that I've read that others have written, I'm quite disillusioned. This book might be the frosting on the cake!

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Arachnea: Thank you!

    • Arachnea profile image

      Tanya Jones 4 years ago from Texas USA

      there's always more to the facade people show the world. great lens.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Sir Daniel UK: That's a very good point and a McCartney book would be fascinating. As for the best, I'm not sure.People see us in different ways. A man's mother would write about him in one way, his best friend in another way and his wife in another way. But I guess that they'd all be different aspects of the same person. That's why I'm looking forward to reading the book by his sister - it will be interesting to compare them. As for the revelations, I rather suspect that law suits have put paid to those :)

    • Sir Daniel UK profile image

      Danny Gibson 4 years ago from Northampton

      Yes. But as readers we must always apply a degree of caution when reading these types of books. They are useful, but if void of any revelations, real or invented, then sales aren't as high! McCartney might be the best person to write a book on Lennon?

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Linda BookLady: I highly recommend it. Cynthia is very frank about her life but she also seems to be the sort of lady who sees the good in everyone. Yoko tried hard (it seems) to stop John seeing Julian but Cynthia suggests that this was because Yoko didn't see her own child. I doubt I would have been so understanding. You'll love this book,I know.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      that's quite the forward..makes me want to read this book (sort of sad though, another example of a father disconnecting to some extent I suspect)

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 4 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      I'm definitely interested in reading it. I always like Cynthia and was so sad when he left her.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Brite-Ideas: Yes, that's right. Although it is complicated as Cynthia explains. It seems that there were two Johns, pre- and post-drugs. This more or less coincides with pre- and post-Yoko.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @DebW07: It's captivating. She seems to be a lovely and genuine lady. She knew him as a teenager and was married to him a few years later. I really get the impression that she always loved him...

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      DebW07 4 years ago

      This sounds like an interesting book. I can imagine that Cynthia's account of her husband John is quite different from the iconic figure of The Beatles' John Lennon.

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