The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 10633
Date: [February 1888?][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Edwin Austin Abbey[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Library and Archives, New York
Call Number: NYMA 87 - AO MS6 - MS10
Document Type: ALS


It is very nice of you my dear Abbey - and I thank you for your kind note[3] -

As to to [sic] the proposal from Messrs Harper & Bros.[4] I would have to ask Chatto and Windus[5] who are to be my publishers here - the American publishers are as yet quite undetermined - [p. 2] but they are to be of my own choice - and in short the American publication is to be my affair - that is, the English publication does not in any way absorb the other - so that I might well arrange with Harper & Bros - I will see you about it -

As to the American tour[6], perhaps after all it may come off -

In any case we will talk it all over if you like some day soon, when I hope you will come and dine with me and tell me many things -

Always sincerely

J McN. Whistler

454[7]. Fulham Road -

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1.  [February 1888?]
Dated from reference to Harper & Bros (see Harper & Bros to JW, #02035 and #02037).

2.  Edwin Austin Abbey
Edwin Austin Abbey (1852-1911), painter and illustrator [more]. Abbey worked as an illustrator for Harper & Bros on Harper's Weekly and Harper's New Monthly Magazine and thus would have had connections at the firm.

3.  note

4.  Messrs Harper & Bros.
This relates to the 'Ten O'Clock Lecture,' JW's chief public statement of his aesthetic ideas, first delivered in London on 20 February 1885. This note concerns a proposal to publish the 'Ten O'Clock Lecture' in Harper's Monthly magazine (see Harper to JW, #02035). See also F. W. Slater (Harper) to JW, #02033, JW to F. W. Slater (Harper),#02034, JW to Harper, #02036, Harper to JW, #02037.

5.  Chatto and Windus
The 'Ten O'Clock Lecture' was published by Chatto & Windus on 11 May 1888; see Getscher, Robert H., and Paul G. Marks, James McNeill Whistler and John Singer Sargent. Two Annotated Bibliographies, New York and London, 1986, A. 9.

6.  American tour
In February 1885, in the aftermath of JW's first delivery of the 'Ten O'Clock Lecture,' the idea of a lecture tour to America seems to have arisen. For a lengthy period between 1885 and 1886, JW was intent on making the trip (see references in correspondence including JW to W. Merritt Chase, #00593; H. Wunderlich to JW, #07153; JW to O. Maus, #09235; JW to E. J. McNay, #08100). As this reference shows, the idea remained in his mind as late as 1888. However, he never actually made the journey. Contributing factors may have been his involvement with the Society of British Artists (he was elected President on 1 June 1886) and other exhibition commitments (H. Lenoir to JW, #00928).

7.  454
Triple underlined.