UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 06315
Date: [20 June 1897][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Ethel Whibley[2]
Place: Paris
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W309
Document Type: ALS[3]


It is excellent my dear Bunnie - Montesquiou's[4] deed! - and now that he has begun, I would prophecy [sic] that he goes on - and becomes a most dangerous poet, and swaggering d'Artagnan[5] - whose name you remember it was his ambition to revive!

All the paragraphists who have lived on him will have [to] look out or they may die of him! -

Qui sait![6] this is a taste that may grow on him - In any case he must be awfully [p. 2] pleased with himself and at the astonishment of the others! -

London is ——   well - I daresay the Major[7] has read you my description and has shown you the sketches -

And now in return for the Forain[8] I send you my "Cartoon"! - -

Always my dear Bunnie, & with a thousand thanks for so kindly running off for me to Ratiers[9] [with?]at my most abrupt call,
affectionately

[butterfly signature]

How is Wobbles[10]?

Tell him if he saw St Pauls all over sticks[11], he would be proud of being a Dutchman! -


This document is protected by copyright.


Envelope:

à
Mademoiselle Birnie-Philip
aux soins de
Monsieur McNeill Whistler
110. Rue du Bac
Paris
France
[stamp:] POSTAGE AND INLAND REVENUE / ONE PENNY
[stamp:] POSTAGE & REVENUE / 2½d
[postmark:] LONDON / E / 20 JU / 97 / S
[postmark:] CALAIS A PARIS 10 / F / 21 / JUIN / 97

'JUNE 21. 1897'

[postmark on verso:] 9 PARIS 9 DISTRIBUTION / 1E 21 / JUIN / 97


Notes:

1.  [20 June 1897]
Dated from the postmark.

2.  Ethel Whibley
Ethel Whibley (1861-1920), née Philip, JW's sister-in-law [more]. 'Bunnie' was a nickname for Ethel.

3.  ALS
The stationery has a deep mourning border.

4.  Montesquiou's
Comte Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac (1855-1921), Symbolist writer and poet, and collector [more].

5.  d'Artagnan
.

6.  Qui sait!
Fr., who knows.

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

8.  Forain
Jean Louis Forain (1852-1931), painter and printmaker [more].

9.  Ratiers
Antoine ('Antony') Ratier (b. 1851), lawyer and politician [more].

10.  Wobbles
JW's nickname for Charles Whibley (1859-1930), writer and journalist [more].

11.  all over sticks
JW had described how London's buildings were 'up to their roofs in rows upon rows of scaffold benches', #04707. This relates to the celebration of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. On 22 June 1897, the sixtieth year of her reign was celebrated with a public procession which began at Buckingham Palace and took in St Paul's Cathedral. Streets and buildings were lavishly decorated. JW was referring to the decorations at St Paul's where Queen Victoria would preside over a service of thanksgiving outside the building. Ethel Whibley came over to see the celebrations (see her letter to E. G. Kennedy, [21 June 1897], #09773.