My own Dearest Mother -
I have not written to you for years, it seems to me, and at last I have fallen into utter silence; but yet I think of you constantly and wish always to go down to you and tell you how I love you. I am always your fond son. I wait, though, and have waited all along, that I may get the better of my work and be able to come to you and say that I am at length free and happy in the result of my labor. It is a long story, my dear mother, and one of these days you will know how courageous I have been in these past years of tribulation and heartbreaking discouragement. The reward I believe, though, I now feel dawning upon me, and if health be continued to me, I believe I shall have established for myself a proud reputation, in which you will rejoice with me, not because of the worldly glory alone, but because of the joy that you will see in me, as I produce lovely works, one after the other without any more of the old agony of doubt and uncertainty. I am now just beginning to enjoy, and never have I done such painting as I am now executing. Willie may have told you, though I am still silent. Shortly, I hope, with a little more of your long forebearance and patience in me, I shall have paid all that is due, and you will be happy in knowing that I owe no one. Mr and Mrs [p. 2] Alexander were here the other day, and are amazed and delighted with what they saw, and I am to paint either May, if she be able to stand, or little Gracie. I enclose her letter, or rather no, I will send it next time, for I want it yet. She told me how she had seen you at Hastings, and how much better you were looking. The Leylands are in town, and I daresay you will have heard from them. Henry Whitehouse and his wife dined here the other night, and Willie was here to meet them. They were delighted, and I gave them a photograph of you. The servants are perfect treasures. I am, thank Heaven, very well, and, my darling mother, hope very soon to run down to see you. I rejoice in your good health, and trust that these terrible east winds will cease.
Love to sis and yourself, from your affectionate son,
1. [July 1876?]
AMW wrote to JW about the visit of the Whitehouses (see below), on 11 July 1876 (see #06559). She had moved to Hastings on 8 August 1875 (see #06555). No letter from JW to her for the period from 24 April 1867 (see #06529) appears to have survived.
Copy in the Denys Sutton Papers, Glasgow University Library.
Agnes Mary Alexander (1862-1950), daughter of W. C. Alexander [more]. The earliest drawings relating to the portrait of Miss May Alexander (YMSM 127), appear to date from 1873/74 (see M.498-499).
Frederick Richards Leyland (1832-1892), shipowner, his wife Frances, and their children Frederick Dawson, Fanny, Florence and Elinor.
Possibly a photograph of AMW's portrait Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter's Mother (YMSM 101). JW had several paintings photographed by John Robert Parsons (ca 1826-1909), painter, photographer, and art dealer, including AMW's portrait (see #07906, and #07614); also see AMW to Catherine Jane Palmer, 3-4 November 1871, #10071.