The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: McNay, Mary Isabella
Record 1 of 2

System Number: 09319
Date: [22 February 1882][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Elizabeth Jamison McNay[2]
Place: South Norwood
Repository: Huntington Library, San Marino, CA
Call Number: HM 6852
Credit Line: © The Huntington Library
Document Type: ALS

Dear Mrs McNay -

How very kind and nice you are! - I don't at all know how to thank you -

I shall be charmed to come down on Thursday to dinner - and shall bring with me Frank Miles[3] and Elden[4] whom I think you know - and perhaps, [p. 2] if it be not really imposing upon your generous hospitality, Capt. Templar[5] - the distinguished aeronaut, who was with the unfortunate Powell[6] in the balloon - and who is one of the very best fellows I know -

We shall all have to go away together for I cannot stay this time as I am more horribly and foolishly busy than ever now - and have an appointment early on Friday morning -

However the evening will be most delightful to us I know, and we can compare notes about 'the Owl'[7], for we all know him! -

With very many thanks, and kindest regards,
Very sincerely Yours

J. McN. Whistler

This document is protected by copyright.


Mrs McNay -
1. Upper Grove
South Norwood
[postmark:] LONDON W / 7 / FE 22 / 82


1.  [22 February 1882]
Dated from postmark.

2.  Elizabeth Jamison McNay
Elizabeth McNay (m. 1859), née Charleton, formerly Jamison [more]

3.  Frank Miles
George Francis ('Frank') Miles (1852-1894), painter [more].

4.  Elden
Matthew Robinson Elden (1839-1885), artist [more].

5.  Capt. Templar
Colonel James Lethbridge Brooke Templar (1846-1924), balloonist [more].

6.  Powell
Walter Powell (d. 1881), MP and balloonist [more].

7.  'the Owl'
Charles Augustus ('Owl') Howell (1840? - d.1890), entrepreneur [more]. JW was about to publish Whistler, James McNeill, Correspondence. Paddon Papers. The Owl and the Cabinet, London, [1882]. This related the story of the Chinese 'pagoda' cabinet sold by JW to Morse in September 1878 with Howell seemingly acting as agent. Soon afterwards, it became the subject of an elaborate deception instigated by Howell. Contrary to Howell's claim that he had taken it in for repair, it later turned out that he had pawned the head-piece.