The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 07866
Date: 7 December 1897
Author: Rosalind Birnie Philip[1]
Place: Paris
Recipient: Elizabeth Robins Pennell[2]
Place: London
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 272/12/1
Document Type: ALS[3]

110 Rue du Bac.

Dec: 7th 1897.

Dear Mrs Pennell.

Mr Whistler has just come back from the studio, and I am writing for him, while he rests before dinner.

I am to say that he is delighted with Mr Pennell's[4] letter, but he thinks it short.

He is to write at once another, telling him [p. 2] more, much more about the Chelsea Art Club!

What has he heard about the writing on the wall?! Who told him?

Has he seen any of those people?

Has he been down there?

I am to say that "he" expects it of you! - (he is talking to Mr Pennell now.)

Very good about the German youth[5] wasn't it?

We snuffed him out, as you say, right off.

Keep your eye on the Saturday all the same.

They probably will try and work up something - doubtless about the Baronet[6] and Appeal Case.

[p. 3] Of course you saw the whole report very well done in the Pall Mall of the third[7]!

Must have been a trying evening for the henchmen and the hinds after the Baronet read his own letters to the Goupil's[8] and Beurdeley's[9] comments on them!

That was a beautiful flank movement of mine, wasn't it?

Do go and see Thomson[10] and tell him I am going to write to him; he has been splendid, and stood firm on his legs all throughout.

Little Brown[11] has come out as a hero in spite of himself, but Van Wisselingh[12] is out of it altogether and you can tell him I said so.

What about Sickert[13], and why don't you have Ludovici[14] down to see you?

Sickert goes to the same little [p. 4] eating house, so that many pleasant bits of news might be transmitted.

Have you then not been near Gosse's[15] at all, and have you no news of any of that respectable lot?

This must go now, and so I return, dear Mrs Pennell, to you for a moment and say good-bye.

Very sincerely yours.

R. B. Philip.

This document is protected by copyright.


Mrs Joseph Pennell
14 Buckingham Street.
[postmark on verso:] BEDFORD STR[EET. S. O. W. C.?] / 7.30 PM / DE 8 / 97

[embossed:] AU BON MARCHÉ


1.  Rosalind Birnie Philip
Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more]. For large parts of this letter she is writing on behalf of JW.

2.  Elizabeth Robins Pennell
Elizabeth Robins Pennell (1855-1936), née Robins, JW's biographer [more].

3.  ALS
The stationery has a deep mourning border.

4.  Mr Pennell's
Joseph Pennell (1860-1926), printer and illustrator, JW's biographer [more].

5.  German youth
Max Beerbohm (1872-1956), painter, designer, cartoonist and writer [more]: this is a reference to JW's use of the phrase 'belockter Jüngling' in Whistler, James McNeill, 'An Acknowledgement,' The Saturday Review, no. 2196, vol. 84, 27 November 1897 (see #09921).

6.  Baronet
Sir William Eden (1849-1915), painter and collector [more]. JW's legal battle against Eden had recently ended; see #01037; #08249.

7.  Pall Mall of the third
Pall Mall Gazette, 3 December 1897.

8.  Goupil's
London dealers.

9.  Beurdeley's
Paul Beurdeley (1842-after 1902), advocate at the Cour d'Appel, Paris [more].

10.  Thomson
David Croal Thomson (1855-1930), art dealer [more].

11.  Brown
Ernest George Brown (1853 or 1854-1915), assistant manager at the Fine Art Society [more].

12.  Van Wisselingh
Elbert Jan Van Wisselingh (b. ca 1848), art dealer [more], who had told JW that the Fine Art Society offered to sell him J. M. Swan's portrait of Eden's daughter (3 November 1897, #07105.

13.  Sickert
Walter Richard Sickert (1860-1942), artist and writer on art [more].

14.  Ludovici
Albert Ludovici, Jr (1852-1932), painter [more].

15.  Gosse's
Edmund William Gosse (1849-1928), writer and art critic [more].