The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 02176
Date: [November 1878?][1]
Author: Charles Augustus Howell[2]
Place: [London]
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler H273
Document Type: ALS

Dearest Old Man,

Show awfully afire[3] so that I can produce no more than £8 today - H[4] will be glad enough to get it - Arrange with him for some more next week when I will see if I can fork out £13 - more with which sum I shall have paid you up the two first bills of £78 each not counting of course our private various - I shall be delighted to see you at home tomorrow but cannot be here at your time today having an aptm about the Ry[5].

Tell H that I am away scouring the country for a house[6] having to turn out next month that [p. 2] I shall be back tomorrow, and glad to see him if he will come down.

Rosie[7] will explain about the house

Ever Affecty

Owl -

Arrange also for completing Rosie's portrait[8] now that you are slack & I will go on forking out various -

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1.  [November 1878?]
The case of Howell v the Metropolitan District Railway Company (see below) is referred to in a letter from J. E. Boehm to JW dated 8 November 1878 (#00321).

2.  Charles Augustus Howell
Charles Augustus ('Owl') Howell (1840? - d.1890), entrepreneur [more].

3.  Show awfully afire
This refers to Howell's problems, as well as JW's mounting financial crisis. During this period, Howell came to JW's aid in his desperate need for income, helping him to print and sell his etchings and to pawn or publish engravings of his pictures. See JW's illustrations of the situation in Howell and Whistler leaving the show on fire (M.673) and The Show on fire (M.674).

4.  H
Probably Louis Herrman (b. 1810 or 1811), of Gilby and Herrman, artists' suppliers, later a picture dealer [more]. JW bought lithographic materials from the firm and also seems to have borrowed money from Hermann. See reference in Feather and flower designs (M.702).

5.  aptm about the Ry
i.e. appointment about the Railway. Howell's house, Chaldon House in Fulham, was threatened by the proposed Fulham extension of the Metropolitan District Railway Company, and he took legal action, employing Edward William Godwin (1833-1886), architect and designer [more], to assess the value of the house (see #02186).

6.  house
Howell eventually acquired a house 'Old Danner' at Selsey Bill, where JW visited him.

7.  Rosie
Rosa Frances Corder (1853-1884), artist [more].

8.  portrait
Arrangement in Brown and Black: Portrait of Miss Rosa Corder (YMSM 203), which was commissioned by Howell.