System Number: 08749
Date: [29 November 1878]
Recipient: James Anderson Rose
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 4/25
Document Type: ALS
'Recd 29 Novr 1878'
This is the kind of man to have for by and bye if we go further -
1. [29 November 1878]
Dated from date of letter receipt.
2. James Anderson Rose
James Anderson Rose (1819-1890), solicitor [more]. This relates to JW's libel case against John Ruskin (1819-1900), critic, social reformer and artist [more], of which JW had just heard the outcome. The case was in response to Ruskin's criticism of JW's works, especially Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket (YMSM 170), in his periodical Fors Clavigera. On 2 July 1877 he accused JW of 'flinging a pot of paint in the public's face' in a review of the I Summer Exhibition of the Grosvenor Gallery, London. See Ruskin, John, 'Letter the Seventy-ninth' Fors Clavigera, 2 July 1877, pp. 181-213. The trial took place at the Queen's Bench of the High Court over two days on 25-26 November 1878. The judge found in favour of JW but awarded him only token damages of one farthing.
Written and circled, probably in J. A. Rose's hand, in left-hand margin.
4. 'Recd ... 1878'
Endorsement, probably in J. A. Rose's hand, in upper right corner of sheet.
The letter is unidentified. However, it may have been one of the numerous letters of support received by JW. His correspondents included Elisabeth Lewis (1844-1931), née Eberstadt, wife of G. H. Lewis [more] (#02519), John Postle Heseltine (1843-1929), accountant, amateur etcher, collector of prints and drawings [more] (#08920), and Charles Egg, possible an employee of Walter and James Hall and Co., silk merchants (#01046, #01047).
Rumours in the press that JW might appeal against the trial verdict seem to have encouraged him to consider an appeal (see Merrill, Linda, A Pot of Paint: Aesthetics on Trial in 'Whistler v. Ruskin', Washington and London, 1992, pp. 206-7).