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A 6 Page Handwritten Letter From John To Paul

LONDON (Reuters) - A draft of a letter from John Lennon to fellow Beatle Paul McCartney and his wife Linda exposing the strains around the 1970 breakup of the Fab Four will come up for auction in London in October. The letter, full of deletions, misspellings and profanity, swings between vitriol over the treatment of Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono and disdain for Linda McCartney to evident affection for Paul.

A spokeswoman for Christie's, which will put the letter under the hammer on October 4 for an anonymous owner, said it last changed hands in the United States in the early 1990s and was expected to fetch up to 80,000 pounds ($112,000) this time.

The six-page letter, thought to have been written in 1970 or 1971, calls Linda ``middle-aged'' and ``cranky'' and predicts the marriage to Paul will not last. The marriage lasted until Linda died of cancer in 1998. Lennon was shot dead by crazed fan Mark Chapman outside his New York apartment in 1980.

Referring to the treatment Lennon and Ono received in the early days of their highly public relationship, the letter accuses his friends of hypocrisy. Lennon also repeats his by then well-aired views on being given the Member of the British Empire in 1965 -- an honor he returned publicly four years later. ``I do remember squirming a little -- don't you Paul -- or do you -- as I suspect still believe it all,'' the letter asks rhetorically.

Lennon's letter reveals the deep personal and financial rifts inside the band that set the world on fire in the 1960s and became the first true supergroup. He also accuses McCartney of letting success go to his head and of believing that the Beatles alone sparked off the youth revolution that swept the planet. ``Of course we changed the world -- but try and follow it through -- get off your gold disc and fly,'' Lennon wrote. ``I know the Beatles are 'quite nice people' -- I'm one of them -- they're also just as big bastards as anyone else, so get off your high horse,'' he added.

The letter reveals that McCartney and the band's business manager Alan Klein tried to stop Lennon announcing his intention to quit because the news would damage its business interests. It ends on a tender note, indicating that Lennon was leaving the door open to resuming severed relations with the McCartneys at a later date ``In spite of it all, love to you both from us two,'' it concludes


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