The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 04716
Date: [11 August 1897][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Rosalind Birnie Philip[2]
Place: Paris
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler P356
Document Type: ALS



What do you think [of] this Major? or rather ask Bunnie[3] what she thinks of it - for I doubt if all the Coombe[4] play business was not before your time -

Trixie[5] never liked the Batson man[6] - but I daresay the right to the "Faithful Shepherdess[7]" was very little his - In any case I suppose it ought to be looked into, for from Godwin[8] it would have gone to [p. 2] Trixie - and I suppose it would now be mine - though of course I should only see after it for Teddie[9] -

Does Bunnie remember any thing about it? and are there any papers?

I must tell Webb[10] about it of course but I had better know of documents so as not to be at the mercy of these "intriguants" [sic]! -

Met charming Frenchman[11] in train - tres [sic] distingué[12] - of whom more by and bye - meanwhile he says Etretat delightful - and just the right moment - so off you go! -

I do hope the dress came out all right - pity I hurried you - for find the abominable girl Muriel[13] can't come until Saturday -

You forgot to put in my nice pair of black thread socks! do send them in letter or envelope! - they were by the bed - -

Send on photograph [p. 3] to Studio -

In haste as usual -

with affectionate messages to all

The General -

If the Gentle Art[14] has not gone today - send it on to me here - for I suppose I ought to write the mans name in it myself - Also put his address inside - or his letter -

This document is protected by copyright.


'AUG. 12. 1897'

Mademoiselle Birnie-Philip
aux soins de
Monsieur McNeill Whistler
110. Rue du Bac
[stamp:] POSTAGE AND REVENUE / 1½d
[stamp x 2:] POSTAGE AND REVENUE / 2½d
[postmark:] CONTINENTAL / NIGHTMAIL / AU 11 / 97
[postmark on verso:] 9 PARIS 9 / (DISTRIBUTION) / 1E 12 / AOUT / 97


1.  [11 August 1897]
Dated from the postmark. The date was also written, possibly by the recipient, on the envelope.

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

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

4.  Coombe
'The Pastoral Players' had performed plays at Coombe Park, the country house of Lady Archibald Campbell.

5.  Trixie
Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more].

6.  Batson man
Rev. Arthur Wellesley Batson (b. 1853), clergyman [more].

7.  Faithful Shepherdess
Play by John Fletcher.

8.  Godwin
Edward William Godwin (1833-1886), architect and designer [more]. He had directed the 'Pastoral Players'.

9.  Teddie
Edward Godwin (b. 1876), son of Beatrix and E. W. Godwin; JW's step-son [more].

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

11.  Frenchman
Not identified.

12.  tres distingué
Fr., very distinguished.

13.  Muriel
Muriel Smith, art student and model [more], posed for several paintings including Violet and Blue: The Red Feather (YMSM 503) and Grey and Silver: La Petite Souris (YMSM 502).

14.  Gentle Art
Whistler, James McNeill, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, London and New York, 1890.