UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 04744
Date: [14 or 21 May 1899][1]
Author: Rosalind Birnie Philip[2]
Place: Paris
Recipient: George Webb[3]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler P384
Document Type: ALS[4]


110 Rue du Bac.

Sunday -

(This is since Mr. Whistlers first letter[5] of to-day)

Dear Mr. Webb.

Mr. Whistler has sent word from the studio to say that on reflection he has no doubt that you can make a better bargain with Simpkins[6].

He thinks you might propose that your client, who after all can only be actuated by the vanity of an author, is willing to share the sum with them, and [p. 3] would put a cheque[7] clean in the hands of their solicitor for £100 -, if that will meet the case, immediately they agree to the conditions and produce the book[8] -

Mr. Whistler says that of course upon this you might build the bargain, and so manage it doubtless for something like £150 - subject to all the before named conditions.

Please wire first thing how all goes on.

Very sincerely yours.

R. B. Philip.

P. S. Mr. Whistler says for your private ear that of [p. 4] course the urgent thing is that however man the book do appear at once, and be spread all over the land, before the baronet[9] can stop it by proceedings of any kind.

This then is what you are working for, and y a great point is to be made that of anything like a day's delay being detrimental to the success (that Mr. Whistler always so much cares about) after the announcement of the book. Now the book is announced for sale on Monday the 15th, tomorrow.

This is another reason why the risks should be more evenly shared -


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Notes:

1.  [14 or 21 May 1899]
This letter was written after another undated letter, on the same day, #09889; both are dated from references to the publication and reviews of Whistler, James McNeill, Eden versus Whistler: The Baronet and the Butterfly. A Valentine with a Verdict, Paris and New York, 1899 [GM, A.24].

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

3.  George Webb
George Webb (b. ca 1835), of G. and W. Webb. lawyer [more].

4.  ALS
Written on deep-bordered mourning paper. Notes were written on p. 2 in an unknown hand: 'Whistler & Baronet & the Butterfly 1899'.

5.  letter
See #06255.

6.  Simpkins
Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co., publishers and newsagents, appear to have been involved in the distribution of Whistler, James McNeill, Eden versus Whistler: The Baronet and the Butterfly. A Valentine with a Verdict, Paris and New York, 1899 [GM, A.24] (see note below; see also JW to G. Webb, #06255, and 12 May 1899, #05449).

7.  cheque
Triple underlined.

8.  book
Whistler, James McNeill, Eden versus Whistler: The Baronet and the Butterfly. A Valentine with a Verdict, Paris and New York, 1899 [GM, A.24]; it was published in Paris on 13 May 1899.

9.  baronet
Sir William Eden (1849-1915), painter and collector [more]. This relates to JW's dispute with Eden over Brown and Gold: Portrait of Lady Eden (YMSM 408), a portrait of Eden's wife. On 14 February 1894, with the picture seemingly nearing completion, Eden sent JW a cheque for 100 guineas. JW was dissatisfied with his work and refused to hand it over to Eden, believing it was the artist's right to withhold a picture in such circumstances. When Eden instituted legal proceedings against him in November 1894 in order to retrieve it, JW returned all monies that had been paid to him. However, the dispute dragged on until December 1897 when JW, on appeal, was permitted by the Cour de Cessation in Paris to keep the picture provided that he did not make use of it. JW's own account of the affair was published in The Baronet and the Butterfly.