UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 04700
Date: [22 January 1897][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Rosalind Birnie Philip[2]
Place: Paris
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler P340
Document Type: ALS


[monogram:] WH[3]

4, WHITEHALL COURT,
S. W.

[sketch of Mrs Willis][4]

The native Willis[5] this morning

[p. 2] "Wen [sic] I go - you - hic! you will have to bring 'em up - hic! yourself!!".

And now my dear Major you are quite mistaken if you fancy that I do not sympathize with you in your hatreds - I doubt if anyone could so completely understands [sic] your bitter state of mind - Am I not in the same mental condition absolutely? - I loath, as you do, the people among whom I live - I have in horror all their ways - and I suffer with them because no [p. 3] one can help me - , But happily I can help you[6]. - if you only have a little patience - that is all I ask - Wait a month or two until the weather is mild - and in the spring, when you can both travel with comfort, you shall come back to your people. I am negociating [sic] for a house for you in London - and there you can be with the slaveys[7] you know - like those at your sisters'[8] - and you need have no more heartburnings among the "Frenchies" -

Webb[9] will manage all this - and I only want you to say what you would like best, a pretty little place near Hammersmith on the river, or one somewhere in May fair - Whatever [p. 4] you like best Major - I mean to make every thing a charming always for the Ward lady[10] -

Tell Bunnie not to worry any more about the velvet - I am managing it here -

Give my most affectionate messages to your Mother[11] -

I send cheque because it seems to me that you ought to require one -

Always

The General


This document is protected by copyright.


Envelope:

'JAN 22. 1897'

à
Mademoiselle Birnie-Philip
aux soins de
Monsieur McNeill Whistler
110. Rue du Bac
Paris -
France
[stamp x 2:] POSTAGE AND INLAND REVENUE / ONE PENNY
[stamp:] CHIFFRE / POSTES / RF / TAXE / 10 CENTIMES PER [PAYER?]
[postmark:] LONDON / 4.15 AM / JA 22 / 97
[postmark on verso:] PARIS 14 [...] CENTRAL / 8 / 22 JANV / 97


Notes:

1.  [22 January 1897]
The postmark confirms the date, which was added, probably by the recipient, on the front of the envelope.

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

3.  WH
The monogram and notepaper of William Heinemann (1863-1920), publisher [more] (yellow embossed on the letter, blue on the envelope).

4.  [sketch of Mrs Willis]
Mrs Willis bringing in the coals (M.1503).

5.  Willis
Mrs Willis, JW's housekeeper at 8 Fitzroy Street [more]. She was frequently drunk.

6.  you
Double underlined.

7.  slaveys
Servants.

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

9.  Webb
William Webb (b. ca 1851), of G. and W. Webb, lawyer [more].

10.  Ward lady
He means Rosalind, his ward.

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