The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 10069
Date: [29 August 1868][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Ford Madox Brown[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Private Collection
Document Type: ALS

2 Lindsey Row.
Old Battersea bridge


My dear Brown -

I have just got your letter[3] and am sorry about tuesdays dinner coming to grief - I hasten now to write and tell you that, being judged sufficiently recovered by my brother[4], I am to go down and meet my Mother[5] in the country and bring her back on Monday morning - So that tomorrow I shall be absent - But you tell me that you may be able [p. 2] to come to Chelsea on Tuesday morning - I should have great pleasure in showing you[6] what I am about but have scarcely the hardihood to bring you all this way and take up your daylight on such pretence - I should have less scruple, if after your own days work, you were to come in the afternoon and share, sans ceremonie the pot au feu[7] - What do you say - and then I should most gladly arrange with you for any day you may appoint for me to [p. 3] come to you on your return to town

Yours sincerely

J. A. McN. Whistler

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1.  [29 August 1868]
After 20 August. Dated from #08997 and reference in it to JW's illness.

2.  Ford Madox Brown
Ford Madox Brown (1821-1893), painter [more].

3.  letter
Untraced. In an earlier letter (#08997), JW had invited Brown to dinner, probably on Tuesday, 25 August.

4.  brother
William McNeill Whistler (1836-1900), physician, JW's brother [more].

5.  Mother
Anna Matilda Whistler (1804-1881), née McNeill, JW's mother [more].

6.  showing you
JW's renewed invitation was probably for Tuesday, 1 September and he may have been planning to show Brown his series of female studies 'The Six Projects' (YMSM 82-87) (excat 11). They had recently been seen by William Michael Rossetti (1829-1919), civil servant and critic [more] who recorded in his diary on 28 July 1868: 'Whistler is doing on a largish scale for Leyland the subject of women with flowers, and has made coloured sketches of four or five other subjects of the like class.' See Rossetti, William M., ed., Rossetti Papers, 1862-1870, London, 1903, p. 320. He may also have been working on The Three Girls (YMSM 88).

7.  sans ceremonie the pot au feu
Fr: without ceremony, a beef stew, i.e. an informal dinner.