The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Lenoir, Helen
Record 7 of 42

System Number: 09548
Date: [17 January 1885][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Walter Theodore Watts-Dunton[2]
Place: London
Repository: Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio
Call Number: 23.3104
Document Type: ALS

Theodore -

You know that you must execute yourself at once! - Send for your ticket directly, for I am not to have one to give away! -

The sooner you apply to Mitchell[3] or his brother librarians, the better place will you get - for all the seats in the hall are fixed at the same price, half a guinea -! so what do you think of that - my cat! -

Also you ought to be quite near - so that you may hear - even if I whisper! - Seriously [p. 2] I am to give nothing away - the D'Oyley Cartes[4] run the show! so there! - and the most beautiful . . . as well as the most brilliant and distinguished in the land - the Philosopher and the Soneteer [sic] put down their gold - and DOyley and I divide!!! -

I do wish Swinburne[5] could come - but I fear he would be bored with the attempt to hear -

[butterfly signature]

You know the name of the 'Circus'?
Mr Whistler's "Ten o'clock" -
Prince's Hall Piccadilly.
on the Evening of Feb. 20. -

This document is protected by copyright.


Theodore Watts. Esq
"The Pines" -
Putney Hill -
Putney -
[postmark:] LONDON-W / O 7 / JA 17 / 85
[postmark on verso:] LONDON-S. W. / A M / JA 17 / 85


1.  [17 January 1885]
Dated from postmark.

2.  Walter Theodore Watts-Dunton
Walter Theodore Watts (later Watts-Dunton) (1832-1914), solicitor, novelist and poet [more].

3.  Mitchell
Probably a reference to Mitchell's Royal Library, a circulating library. Its headquarters were at 33, Old Bond Street. The advertisement and invitations for JW's forthcoming 'Ten O'Clock Lecture' stated that tickets could be obtained at libraries (see, for example, #00775). As well as Mitchell's, these would have included Bubb's Library and Theatrical Ticket Agency and Mudie's Library.

4.  D'Oyley Cartes
Richard D'Oyly Carte (1844-1901), impresario and property developer [more], and Helen Lenoir (1852-1913), née Coupar Black, actress and stage manager [more]. The D'Oyley Cartes organised the venue and managed the publicity for JW's 'Ten O'Clock Lecture', his major public statement of his aesthetic ideas. The lecture was repeated subsequently at several other venues, including Oxford and Cambridge.

5.  Swinburne
Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909), poet and critic [more]. Swinburne later wrote a critique of the 'Ten O'Clock Lecture' that was later published in Whistler, James McNeill, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, London and New York, 1890, pp. 250-8.