The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 04707
Date: [14 June 1897][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Rosalind Birnie Philip[2]
Place: Paris
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler P347
Document Type: ALS[3]

No Major!

its all right - after a manner! - Things have been simply horrid - & to the last degree depressing -

Winter! - cold cold & black - -

November simply - in the middle of June! and then rain rain rain! - and tea [p. 2] with whitey brown toast at Garlants[4]! -

Then the ugliness of this town - really I am not exagerating [sic]! and[5] the "decorations[6]", I assure you an Indian village done over with red, and yellow ochre! - common - so common & cheap - and at the same time stupendous in its smug belief that it is all right!

The sarcasm of the whole thing is that now that all the world is coming to see London in its supreme moment, I'm hanged if the Englishmen haven't just covered it up! and are going to sit on it!!!

All they think of is how each one shall find a plank to squat upon! and, litterally [sic], all public buildings - churches - clubs and the rest of it are up to their roofs in rows upon rows of scaffold benches! tacked over with cheapest red calico! -

Tell Bunnie[7] that I have had her letter and it was very nice of her - and in return I shall send her a cartoon of Trafalgar Square[8]!!

Vanderbilt[9] has just been - & we are to begin! -

The kindest things to all -
This must go! -
Always affectionately

The General.

It was[10] nice of you to wire -

you might send over the two pair of black thread socks - I have only one here -

This document is protected by copyright.


Mademoiselle Birnie-Philip
aux soins de
Monsieur McNeill Whistler
110. Rue du Bac
[stamp:] POSTAGE & REVENUE / 2½
[postmark:] [...] / JUIN / 97
[postmark:] G[...]IS 22 / B / [...] / JUIN / 97
[postmark on verso:] 9 PARIS 9 / (DISTRIBUTION) / 8E / 14 / 97


1.  [14 June 1897]
Dated from the postmark.

2.  Rosalind Birnie Philip
Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more].

3.  ALS
The stationery has a deep mourning border.

4.  Garlants
JW frequently stayed in this London hotel.

5.  and
Double underlined.

6.  decorations
See Jubilee decorations (M.1506).

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

8.  cartoon of Trafalgar Square
Admiral Nelson -'Boarded at last!' (M.1507). This was published in the Daily Chronicle, 18 June 1897, as 'Mr Whistler on the Jubilee Stands' (see also JW's letter to Ethel Whibley, 21 June 1897, #06315).

9.  Vanderbilt
George Washington Vanderbilt (1862-1914), collector [more].

10.  It was
'It was nice ... only one here' was written in the left margin at right angles to the main text.