The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 07889
Date: [22/27 January 1876][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Alan Summerly Cole[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 1/17/3
Document Type: ALS

All right mon cher -

I will dine with pleasure on Saturday[3] and you will be good enough to say this to your Mother[4] with my kindest regards and thanks.

Dear me! I can fancy your guilty rush on Saturday[5] to see Horace's picture[6]! - You should have heard me round on him after you had gone - about startling you in the way he did with his proposal to sell his picture! - It is Jee - not Gee - Voila [sic]! -

Mr. Greville[7] comes here Saturday afternoon at [p. 2] about 3 - or 4 - Mightn't you get round and have a cup of tea with him -

Had a very pleasant evening at Forsters[8] - Mind you are not to urge Mrs. Greville[9] any more about the French play - as now I should not have the time that sort of work would require - You see it is about a month ago when the proposal was first made about the Theatricals

However we are likely to do a little piece with Mrs. Fowke[10]


And you are to come here on Sunday[11] to buckwheat cakes - 12 o'clock - hot & hot - Dont dare to eat anything before you come

Ever yours

J A McN Whistler

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1.  [22/27 January 1876]
Dated by references to social engagements with the Coles (see below).

2.  Alan Summerly Cole
Alan Summerly Cole (1846-1934), textile expert and museum official [more]. He was the son of Sir Henry ('King') Cole (1808-1882), civil servant and museum director [more].

3.  Saturday
According to Cole's diary, JW dined with him on Saturday, 29 January 1876: 'Amusing at dinner very much on Haden. Later I showed him Charles Lambs essays which pleased him very much. He told of his adventures going out to Valparaiso in the Ship Henrietty'. JW then stayed overnight because of the fog.

4.  Mother
Marian Fairman Cole (b. ca 1812, m. 1833), née Bond, wife of Henry Cole [more].

5.  Saturday
On 6 January 1876, JW had entertained A. S. Cole and his parents, Horace Jee, Mrs Montiori, a social acquaintance of JW, and Mrs Stanfield, a social acquaintance of JW for dinner: 'My father on the innate desire or ambition of some men to be creators, either physical or mental. Whistler considered art had reached a climax with Japanese and Velazquez. He had to admit natural instinct and influence - and the ceaseless changing in all things.' (#12986; Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, 2 vols, London and Philadelphia, 1908, vol. 1, p. 189).

6.  Horace's picture
Horace Jee, musician, JW's occasional secretary [more]. No paintings by Jee are known.

7.  Greville
Greville, unidentified.

8.  Forsters
Probably Matthew Forster (1826-1881), barrister, of Frere, Forster and Frere, solicitors [more], and Amy Leslie Forster (b. ca 1853), née Worth [more].

9.  Mrs Greville
Mrs Greville, a society hostess.

10.  Mrs. Fowke
Isabella Langdale Fowke (1850-1929), née Cole, wife of F. R. Fowke [more]. JW and Mrs Fowke presented Twenty Minutes under the Umbrella at the Albert Hall on 26 February 1876. Mrs Fowke's brother, A. S. Cole, attended rehearsals on 21 and 24 February as well as the first performance, and wrote on 28 February, 'Paragraph in Daily News on Whistler and Isabella's performance. In evening last performance. Walked home with Whistler who was elated with his performance.' The theatricals were held in aid of Mrs Bing's crèche at St Peter's Country Gardens (diary of A. S. Cole, #03432).

11.  Sunday
Sunday, 30 January 1876, after staying overnight with the Coles, JW invited A. S. Cole to breakfast: 'Next morning walked round with him in his dress clothes to Lindsey Houses - where we breakfasted - his doctor - one Morgan - and Frank Fowke - breakfeast buckwheat cake and molasses' (diary of A. S. Cole).