The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 04678
Date: [29 September 1896][1]
Author: JW
Place: Dieppe
Recipient: Rosalind Birnie Philip[2]
Place: Paris
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler P318
Document Type: ALS[3]

[crest with ship, supported by mermaids:]


LE     18

Tuesday - dinner - 'Sept. 29. 96.'

I had your letter this morning my dear Major - with the 100 fs - So thats all right -

The letter was capital Major - and I hope you both like mine! for of course I shall stop soon - but it is fun writing to you while the Colony[4] chatters on -

A superficial onlooker or observer might say they get louder & louder - I dont - They couldn't! - but the giggling is more continuous - and what with the hardy eating and openly intimate joking - the [p. 2] broad bay [sic] teeth are more all over the place than ever! - They have pretty well gotten through their wardrobe though - for I see some of the jackets coming round again! - You may tell Bunnie[5] with my affectionate satisfaction that she looks like none of these! - and neither does the Major - which is infinitely to my pleasure -

You are mistaken I think in supposing that I am more cheerful - I am miserable - and - well I suppose I always shall be - Tomorrow night I propose to leave by the boat - so we must hope for quiet weather -

No I have been able to do nothing that is worth while - It has rained whenever it has not blown - and the rest is my fault -

I told Constant[6] to say to Louise[7] that she is never to impart any thing to that foolish old Madame de Courrière[8] - if she ever calls again - I hope that you told her that you heard all the talking - and that Monsieur is not likely to meet with disrespect from Concierges -

I dont know what the place can cost - for the dinners are amazing - Grapes & partridge and the very best coffee I have tasted - The landlord is always most attentive - and Constant produces a superb effect! -

[p. 3] Well I am off now Major -

Give my love to your Mother[9]
and write to the Studio -

Your affectionate General.

Did you send the money to Madame Michel[10]?

This document is protected by copyright.



'Sept. 29 1896 Paris'

Mademoiselle Birnie Philip
110. Rue du Bac -
[postmark:] DIEPPE SEINE INFRE / [13E?] 29 / SEPT / 96
[postmark on verso:] 9 PARIS 9 / DISTRIBUTION / 1 / 30 / SEPT / 96

[hotel crest on verso]


1.  29 September 1896
The postmark confirms the date written later by the recipient on both letter and envelope.

2.  Rosalind Birnie Philip
Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more]. JW called her 'Major' and himself 'General'.

3.  ALS
Written in pencil.

4.  Colony
JW disapproved of the British residents of the hotel (see #04677, #04678).

5.  Bunnie
Ethel Whibley (1861-1920), née Philip, JW's sister-in-law [more].

6.  Constant
T. C. J. Constant, JW's servant and valet [more].

7.  Louise
Louise, JW's servant at 110 rue du Bac [more].

8.  Madame de Courrière
Mme de Courrière, possibly a neighbour, servant or concierge at 110 Rue du Bac.

9.  Mother
Frances Philip (1824-1917), née Black, JW's mother-in-law [more].

10.  Madame Michel
Mme Michel, possibly a Paris shopkeeper.