The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 08057
Date: [1/6 January 1876][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Frances Leyland[2]
Place: [Liverpool?]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 2/16/10
Document Type: ALS

I am so sorry my dear Mrs Leyland about the presents from Wayletts[3] - that I did my very best I need not assure you - but there is absolutely nothing in the shop -

Even the pearl beads I bethought myself of - but they were sold and gone -

Libertys[4] too I looked all over to no purpose - and may I tell you I could not only find nothing you would care to give [p. 2] Miss Caird[5], but no little offering that I could venture to send with my best wishes to either of you from myself - I am quite unhappy about it -

I feel very sad away from you all - things are very blue in spite even of good and cheering work! - Strange confession -

The awfull [sic] hurry that seems now to be my fate, prevents me adding more today than my very kindest regards and wishes for a happy New Year -

with love to all from Yours
Very sincerely

J A McN. Whistler

Will you write a line to say that you do not think I have been careless though unfortunate in this matter of the choice for you -
I should receive your note on Monday and next week will write I hope a more cheerful [p. 3] answer -

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1.  [1/6 January 1876]
Dated from reference to New Year. The reference to Liberty's suggests that the letter dates from 1875 or later (see note below). The letter may therefore date from shortly after another letter to Mrs Leyland (#08060) that also mentions the purchase of jewellery (though these were amber beads rather than the pearls mentioned here).

2.  Frances Leyland
Frances Leyland (1836-1910), née Dawson [more].

3.  Wayletts
Possibly a reference to Waylett and Manington, jewellers and dealers in antique plate. The shop was at 234, Oxford Street.

4.  Libertys
Liberty & Co., the oriental warehouse owned by Arthur Lasenby Liberty. It opened on 15 May 1875 at 218, Regent Street.

5.  Miss Caird
Ellen Caird, friend of Mrs F. Leyland, possibly a sister of Sir James Caird.