The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Lenoir, Helen
Record 17 of 42

System Number: 02054
Date: 16 November 1885
Author: George Henry Hathaway[1]
Place: Boston
Recipient: Helen Lenoir[2]
Place: [New York]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler H155
Document Type: ALS

[printed form:][3]






16th Nov 1885

Dear Miss Lenoir

Excuse my delay but am busy, very busy just now. As regards Mr Whistler I think he would draw in[4] N Y Bost[on] Philad[elphia] & perhaps Balt[imore] Wash[ington] Chicago &c but he is rather a doubtful card & I dont think it would pay us to take hold of him for only a few places & I dont suppose he would care to come unless the outlook was very favorable. Why not have him postpone[5] to next season as there is a great deal going on now. I hope to be in N. Y. soon & will try to see you about it. Glad you are doing so well with the 'Mikado'[6]

Yours with regards

G. H. Hathaway

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1.  George Henry Hathaway
George Henry Hathaway (1843-1931), President of the Redpath Lyceum Bureau [more].

2.  Helen Lenoir
Helen Lenoir (1852-1913), née Coupar Black, actress and stage manager [more].

3.  [printed form:]
Among the various printed details upon the page is a lengthy printed section at the top which lists various lecturers, musicians and entertainers who were engaged by the Bureau for the 1885-6 season.

4.  draw in
This letter concerns a proposal to take JW's 'Ten O'Clock Lecture' on a tour of American cities. The 'Ten O'Clock' was JW's chief public statement of his aesthetic ideas. It was first delivered in London on 20 February 1885 at the Prince's Hall, Piccadilly. Over the next few months, he repeated it at several other venues in London, Oxford and Cambridge.

5.  postpone
Although Lenoir later wrote that she expected JW to take his lecture to America in 'about September' 1886 (see H. Lenoir to R. D'Oyly Carte, #00927), he never actually made it across the Atlantic. Factors may have been his increasing involvement with the Society of British Artists (he was elected President on 1 June 1886), and his intensifying rivalry with Oscar Wilde, who had preceded him with a lecture tour of America and Canada in 1882. Nevertheless, for a lengthy period between 1885 and 1886, JW remained intent on making the trip (see references in correspondence including JW to W. Merritt Chase, #00593; H. Wunderlich to JW, #07153).

6.  'Mikado'
A reference to the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta The Mikado, first performed on 14 March 1885 at D'Oyly Carte's Savoy Theatre.