UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 02519
Date: 26 November [1878][1]
Author: Elisabeth Lewis[2]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler L55
Document Type: ALS


88, PORTLAND PLACE,
W.

Dear Mr Whistler,

I must write a line to tell you how much we are annoyed at the result of your action[3]. Your case would abundantly prove, if proof were wanted, that [p. 2] there are really no limits to the ignorance & folly of a British Jury.

My husband[4] sends his kind regards.

Yours very truly

Elisabeth Lewis

Nov. 26th


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Notes:

1.  26 November [1878]
Year date from reference to Whistler v Ruskin (see note below).

2.  Elisabeth Lewis
Elisabeth Lewis (1844-1931), née Eberstadt, wife of G. H. Lewis [more]

3.  action
This letter refers to JW's libel case against John Ruskin (1819-1900), critic, social reformer and artist [more], of which JW had just heard the outcome. The case was in response to Ruskin's criticism of JW's works, especially Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket (YMSM 170), in his periodical Fors Clavigera. On 2 July 1877 he accused JW of 'flinging a pot of paint in the public's face' in a review of the I Summer Exhibition of the Grosvenor Gallery, London. See Ruskin, John, 'Letter the Seventy-ninth' Fors Clavigera, 2 July 1877, pp. 181-213. The trial took place at the Queen's Bench of the High Court over two days on 25-26 November 1878. The judge found in favour of JW but awarded him only token damages of one farthing.

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