The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 08500
Date: [18 November 1898][1]
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: William Heinemann[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 2/2/9
Document Type: TLc[3]

My dear Publisher,

How am I to harden my heart and approach you with a proposal of, let us say momentary, divorce!

Certainly neither of us would have supposed it possible that further developments of "The Gentle Art[4]" could have brought complications suggesting even our separation! - But what is to be done?

This American impatience, and the smart method of announcement that distributes pages of an unfinished book to the newspapers - "of which there is no end" - has destroyed, for the time, the pleasure I looked forward to in presenting, with you, the pretty story of "The Baronet and the Butterfly[5]" to my London people! -

I must really change the venue - what do you think?

Your first feeling in this matter was so entirely with me, that I will at once abuse your sympathy, and frankly ask you to transfer your camaraderie, and the glory of aide-de-camp, to a Frenchman - whom I shall choose!

This is no mere easy ingratitude, on my part, as a friend! Of far greater magnitude is the villainy - I will not stop to dilate upon it. Suffice it to say that Napoleon and I do these things - and France shall have the Baronet first! - Indeed the refusal should be hers - who has already presided at his "toilette"!

J. McNeill Whistler.

(p. 2) As to New York, I must leave that entirely to yourself. - You tell me that they "meant well" - and, naturally, steeped themselves plunged into crime! -

Courage[6], mon ami! - à un de ces jours!


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1.  [18 November 1898]
This is a version of a letter from JW to Heinemann, dated [18 November 1898], #09159, #02257.

2.  William Heinemann
William Heinemann (1863-1920), publisher [more].

3.  TLc
This copy contains an autograph correction by JW to #09159, ('plunged into crime'), mentioned in a letter of [25 November 1898], #08510. The letter was published in the Morning Post, 2 December 1898; Pall Mall Gazette, 3 December 1898, p. 3; Glasgow Herald, 3 December 1898 and several other papers. The date on the letter as published in the Morning Post is given as 'Nov. 29', which is the date added to the original (#09159). See also other drafts, #02088, #02257, and #07510; GM B.94.

4.  The Gentle Art
Whistler, James McNeill, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, 2nd ed., London and New York, 1892.

5.  The Baronet and the Butterfly
This letter concerns preparations for the publication 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] in 1898-99. The book is JW's account of his quarrel with Eden over Brown and Gold: Portrait of Lady Eden (YMSM 408), a portrait of Eden's wife. JW became agitated when extracts and an incorrect title page appeared prematurely as publicity for an American edition of the book (see #13199) and he changed the first place of publication from London to Paris. JW and Heinemann staged this event through their letters to the press.

6.  Courage
Fr., Courage, my friend - we shall meet again! (lit. 'until one of these days!').