The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Document associated with: Willis (fl. 1896)
Record 1 of 1

System Number: 04666
Date: [18 July 1896][1]
Author: JW
Place: Honfleur
Recipient: Rosalind Birnie Philip[2]
Place: London
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler P306
Document Type: ALS[3]

'July 18. 96'

Hotel St Siméon. Honfleur.

My dear Major -

Your letter is very nice - and I was delighted to get the large envelope full of things -

It turns out that we[4] cannot get away from here on Sunday as there is no boat! - So that we shall leave on the monday night instead - and appear on the tuesday morning at the studio -

I wonder if the purple background has got any [p. 2] fairer in the sun? -

Tomorrow we have arranged to run over to Trouville - An early - very early! diligeance - and a two hours drive - and then the sea side - and the full season at this French watering place -

I have not been able to manage anything in the way of painting - with the exception of a little bit in the church[5] which is not particularly satisfactory - so that is rather disappointing too - However, if fine tomorrow, I may bring away a bit of the sea - The last two days have been tiresome and cold - and I have been blue - of course! -

A letter from Lady Haden[6] in the budget - rather [p. 3] nice and amusing - and one from [Fat.?] - who came with his wife and sister to Paris - you remember - about Trixie[7] and asking me to go there - Naturally I shall not dream of it - Several from Webb[8] - with a long thing from Tom Way[9] -

I am glad the shelves are up - they must look nice -

Mrs. Poole[10] had better be seen - and really she had better send down the fine writing inlaid chest we all saw - £12 - I suppose it is best to take it anyhow - for it will always be worth the money -

She had better send it down at once - and it could be got in, and put in the place of the table which they can [p. 4] take away - Constant[11] can be there and Willis[12] - Constant can let the blinds down - and see that the chest comes in through the window and then put it all straight again, and pull up the blinds to the same height as before - All this might be done on Saturday Monday without fail - so that it would [be] ready and everything nice for tuesday when I come back - I suppose you and Bunnie[13] would go in on Monday and be by, or look on so that no accident should happen -

Well now Good bye for the present - I must be off to bed - woefully sleepy - and shockingly early tomorrow!

How are you? & how is Bunnie? - She has not written but I suppose she hasn't had a minute -

You had better impress upon the Poole that her men must come properly prepared with ropes etc. for hoisting the piece of furniture - which ought to be covered so that it shall not be scratched -

With love to both

J McN W.

This document is protected by copyright.


'July 18th 1896'

Miss Birnie-Philip
St. Judes Cottage
Heath End -
Hampstead -
nr. London -
[postmark:] HONFLEUR CALVADOS / 2E 18 / JUIL / 96
[postmark on verso:] LONDON. N. W. / YA / JY 20 / 96


1.  Rosalind Birnie Philip
Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more]. JW calls her 'Major'.

2.  [18 July 1896]
The date, added in pencil at a later date on both the letter and envelope by the recipient, is confirmed by the postmark.

3.  ALS
The stationery has a mourning border.

4.  we
JW was in Honfleur with Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932), dealer with H. Wunderlich and Co., New York [more].

5.  bit in the church
JW painted a church there, Brown and Gold: The Curé's Little Class (YMSM 455).

6.  Lady Haden
Deborah ('Debo' or 'Sis') Delano Haden (1825-1908), née Whistler, JW's half-sister [more].

7.  Trixie
Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more]. She had died recently.

8.  Webb
William Webb (b. ca 1851), of G. and W. Webb, lawyer [more]. He had written to JW on 3 July 1896, #11377.

9.  Tom Way
Thomas Robert Way (1861-1913), printer, lithographer and painter [more]. He had written on 13 July 1896, #11382.

10.  Mrs. Poole
Mrs Poole, possibly proprietor of a furniture shop.

11.  Constant
T. C. J. Constant, JW's servant and valet [more].

12.  Willis
Willis, husband of JW's housekeeper at 8 Fitzroy Square.

13.  Bunnie
Ethel Whibley (1861-1920), née Philip, JW's sister-in-law [more].