A collection of more than 50 love letters written by singer-songwriter, poet and novelist Leonard Cohen sold at auction last Thursday for $876,000, with many going for more than five times their pre-sale estimates.
The letters were written to Marianne Ihlen, Cohen’s girlfriend in the 1960s, and the inspiration for several of his best-known songs, including Bird on a Wire, Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye, and the 1967 track So Long, Marianne.
The top letter, in which Cohen wrote in December 1960 about being “alone with the vast dictionaries of language,” fetched $56,250 compared to an original high estimate of $10,000.
A 1964 letter, in which Cohen wrote “I am famous but empty,” went for $35,000, Christie’s said.
The letters were sold by Ihlen’s family. The buyers were not revealed.
Ihlen died of leukemia in Oslo in July 2016 at age 81. Cohen, who was also suffering from leukemia, died in November 2016 at the age of 82.