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An archive of more than 40 letters a lovesick teenage Bob Dylan wrote to a high school girlfriend in the late 1950s sold this week for nearly $670 million, an auction house said.
Livraria Lello, a renowned bookshop in Porto, Portugal’s second-largest city, said it had acquired the more than 150-page haul from Dylan’s youth in Hibbing, Minnesota.
“Guess who won the auction of 42 Bob Dylan’s love letters? That’s right, we did!!” the bookstore said Friday on Facebook
The store said that it planned to make the entire archive available for scholars and fans, but it did not say when that would happen.
“We will announce when the letters arrive at the store,” the bookshop wrote Saturday on Instagram.
The letters — which were written to Barbara Ann Hewitt between 1957 and 1959 — are described by RR Auction as “an unprecedented archive of love letters from the teenage troubadour.”
The archive includes letters written by the now 81-year-old Dylan, back when he was still known as Bob Zimmerman — and decades before he was honored with the Nobel Prize in Literature, which he received in 2016 for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”
The love letters offer unique insights into the early days of one of the most important figures in American popular culture.
Dylan, who has sold around 125 million albums, writes in the letters about his dream of selling a million records, comments on the fashion and the cars of the late ’50s, invites his girlfriend to a Buddy Holly show and professes his never-ending affection for her.
Every letter is accompanied by its original mailing envelope, and nearly all of them are signed “Bob” on the flap, according to a description by the auctioneer.