The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: 'Notes' - 'Harmonies' - 'Nocturnes', Messrs Dowdeswell, London, 1884
Record 11 of 69

System Number: 01754
Date: [30 January 1884][1]
Author: JW
Place: St Ives
Recipient: Edward William Godwin[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler G120
Document Type: ALS

'recd Jan 30. 84 -'[3]

Dear Godwin -

We have neither of us wished the other a happy New Year! -

How is this . - Be this my greeting still in time, with my very best wishes for yourself and Mrs Godwin[4] -

Surely something we ought to devise and make this year tell out among its fellows by the brilliancy of our invention! -

[p. 2] It is a devil of a way off from here to anywhere! - and I must get out of this before I fall off! -

The country you know never lasts me long and if it had not been for the Sea I should have been back before now -

However I shall b[r]ing a few "little things"[5] that I know you will think excuse an absence from Town -

I saw the letter to Edmund[6] last week - capital! - that is how we should divide the game between us - Of course you saw that I trotted out the dead the other day? (The World Jan. 2[7]. in reference to a paragraph in the previous issue - Dec. 26[8].)

The body will be brought out again tomorrow[9]! So mind you don't miss it - I think in the way of 'mangled remains' the late exposés can't be beaten -


[butterfly signature]

St Ives. Cornwall -

If you thought of any thing pleasant in the way of news or sentiment, and got it off by [p. 3] tomorrow's post, I should have it for breakfast the next morning here - Wherefore write! -

Enclosed is a clipping from the Cornishman[10] for your British Architect -

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [30 January 1884]
The date of receipt is given in another hand, in purple pencil.

2.  Edward William Godwin
Edward William Godwin (1833-1886), architect and designer [more].

3.  'recd Jan 30. 84 -'
Written in another hand, in purple pencil.

4.  Mrs Godwin
Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more].

5.  little things
JW spent January 1884 at St Ives in Cornwall, painting mainly small scale works in oil and watercolour (see YMSM 263-288; M.915-921). Many of them were exhibited in 'Notes' - 'Harmonies' - 'Nocturnes', Messrs Dowdeswell, London, 1884.

6.  letter to Edmund
Edmund Hodgson Yates (1831-1894), novelist, 'Atlas' columnist and editor-proprietor of the World [more]. JW's letter of 25 January 1884, published in The World, 30 January 1884, was re-published in Whistler, James McNeill, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, 2nd ed., London and New York, 1892, pp. 113-14 (#11399).

7.  The World Jan. 2
See Whistler, James McNeill, [Letter to Atlas], The World: A Journal For Men and Women, no. 496, vol. 20, 2 January 1884, p. 17.

8.  Dec. 26
This was an attack on Henry ('Arry') Quilter (1851-1907), advocate and art critic [more], in the World, 27 December 1883 (Getscher, Robert H., and Paul G. Marks, James McNeill Whistler and John Singer Sargent. Two Annotated Bibliographies, New York and London, 1986, B.24; #11398).

9.  tomorrow
See above. JW's continuing joke about 'remains' is a suggestion that Quilter was dead.

10.  Cornishman
Godwin wrote regularly for the journal British Architect.