The Inspiration for “Brown Sugar” is Selling Mick Jagger’s Love Letters

Slate's Culture Blog
Nov. 9 2012 5:49 PM

Mick Jagger’s Love Letters for Sale

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Mick Jagger and Keith Richards last month

Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for BFI

Marsha Hunt, the former lover of Mick Jagger and the inspiration for the Rolling Stones’ hit “Brown Sugar,” is putting 10 love letters Jagger sent her in July and August of 1969 up for auction, the Guardian reports. The British paper shares several intriguing nuggets from the letters—such as Jagger’s possibly facetious hope that he’d get cast as Caligula in the planned film adaptation of I, Claudius. More endearingly, Jagger expresses his enjoyment for the poetry of Emily Dickinson, whom he calls “Dix.” The letters also comment on the death of former band member Brian Jones on July 3 of that year, the moon landing, and “John & Yoko boring everybody” at the Isle of Wight festival.

Hunt, an American who came to England in 1966, is an actress and novelist who secretly dated Jagger from 1969 to 1972. The two had a daughter together, Jagger’s first child. “The letters speak for Mick at an incredible juncture of our lives," Hunt says. "The summer of ’69 was the end of a whole era of revolutionary spirit—we didn't know it was about to die.” Gabriel Heaton, manuscripts specialist for Sotheby’s, which is selling the letters, calls them “much the best letters by Jagger to have come up at auction”—the house’s estimate for them is £70,000 to £100,000.

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And why is Hunt selling them? “I’m broke,” she says.

Aisha Harris is a Slate staff writer.

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