UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 01451
Date: [27 September / 4 October 1888][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Mary Bacon Ford[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler F383
Document Type: MsLd[3]


Dear Mrs Ford..

Your letter and the enclosed agreement has come upon me as a surprise shock for I had no idea that in our you could have harboured you intended anything any such - so stupendious as the as any such mistaken view - of my present that should make at all rational me your the the theory of my future which you have embodied [p. 2] [in] this agreement -

When you Cabled "Will you entertain proposal to etch under my direction" I answered "yes" and then expected to hear a letter to hear further, instead of which you reserved your proposal plans and now for the first time do I see clearly that what you entertain the possibility of absorbing my whole Artistic Career understand them -

[p. 3] Dear Mrs. Ford.

Your letter and the enclosed agreement has come upon me as a shock - for I had no idea that you could have harboured any such mistaken contemplated any such [illegible word] views of my present, that should make at all rational the theory of my future, which you have embodied in this agreement.

When you cabled "Will you entertain proposal to etch[4] under my direction" I [p. 4] answered "Yes" - and then expected to hear further, instead of which you reserved your plans and now for the first time do I arrive at something like a clear understanding of them - clearly perceive that you have harboured the possibility of absolutely possessing yourself [p. 5] of my Ambition and prospects at the very hightts [sic] of my artistic career - I doubt - If even you yourselves understand realize the magnitude of the thing you are asking.

Your first [sketch?]. (which I submitted at once to George Lewis[5]) and which he pronounced mad and refused to consider at all you admitted yourselves to be more or less a joke -

Now -


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Notes:

1.  [27 September / 4 October 1888]
Dated from M. B. Ford to JW, #01448, letter dated 27 September, to which this appears to be a draft reply. See also additional drafts at #01450, #01449.

2.  Mary Bacon Ford
Mary Bacon Ford, née Martin, art agent [more].

3.  MsLd
Written in Beatrix Whistler's hand. This appears to be two drafts of JW's reply to a letter from Ford, #01448.

4.  etch
Triple underlined.

5.  George Lewis
Sir George Henry Lewis (1833-1911), society lawyer [more].