Documents associated with: Howells, John Mead
Record 10 of 11
System Number: 02193
Date: 4 December 
Author: John Mead Howells
Place: New York
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler H289
Document Type: ALS
Dear Mr Whistler:
I have just read "in the paper" - wh. means everything in America that the appeal had gone against the Eden man. I am delighted and I wanted to tell you how "satisfied" I feel, because although certain credit might be given theoretically to Justice, or even to Equity - wh. seems to be quite a different thing - still I cannot deny to myself that my presence, seated frowningly between Miss Duncan & Howard Cushing - must have given a certain weight to some of the first sittings -
It makes me half feel as if I [p. 2] were still in Paris, to hear that something of wh. I had seen the beginnings - is only now finished
If this shd. find you in Paris please remember me [to] Mr & Mrs Whibley -
1. 4 December 
Dated from the reference to the case of Eden v Whistler (see below). Since the case was tried several times over the years, it could possibly date from any time between 1895 and 1900. However, Howells's letter suggests that the original hearing (in March 1895) had taken place a long time previously, which makes 1897 the more likely date.
Sir William Eden (1849-1915), painter and collector [more]. JW's dispute with Eden over possession of Brown and Gold: Portrait of Lady Eden (YMSM 408) started on 14 February 1894, when, with the picture seemingly nearing completion, Eden sent JW a 'Valentine', a cheque for 100 guineas. JW thought this inadequate, and claimed that the work was incomplete and he was dissatisfied with it. He refused to hand over the portrait, on the grounds that it was the artist's right to withhold a picture in such circumstances. When Eden instituted legal proceedings in November 1894 in order to retrieve the portrait, JW returned all monies that had been paid to him. The Eden v. Whistler trial opened at the Civil Tribunal on 6 March 1895. At that time Howells was in Paris, and, as he says here, attended the sittings in court. The verdict on 13 March went against JW, who appealed to the Cour de Cassation who gave the verdict in JW's favour in August 1895. Eden appealed and the case dragged on for years. It was decided in JW's favour on 2 December 1897, and finally settled in 1900, again, in JW's favour.
4. Miss Duncan
Possibly Mary G. Duncan, friend of JW and his sister-in-law, R. B. Philip.