The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 10803
Date: [31 January 1898][1]
Author: JW
Place: [Paris]
Recipient: William Heinemann[2]
Place: [Brighton]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 10/849-50/1
Document Type: ALS[3]

Monday evening

The Financier[4] - who is splendid - wires this afternoon that he has bought me a hundred Kalgourlies[5]!!! -

Now what do you think of that?! - I hope it is all right at the bank - for of course not only is the thing itself in the hands of the financier of Napoleon, the very first tip and chance - A. 1. - copper bottomed - but it is such a proof of his care for me - that I wouldn't have a hitch of any kind for worlds! - Well now I put a thousand guineas into the Bank somewhere about Christmas or at the beginning of this month - and 5 or 6 hundred I think between my leaving London and being here - I won't be sure - but I think it is all right - don't you? - Though of course I have been pulling out a good deal - what with the Eden business[6] and the rents of my various establishments - Now as I make this out it would be a pull of £600 or £620 - Still don't you think it is all right? Besides as it is paid into the Bank - I mean the scrip, it is all one to Drummond[7] - I shall have a lot more to go in this Spring - for I am doing work that is far beyond anything I have done before -

Indeed the beautiful condition of work is at last quite laughable - I don't know any other word for it! - I mean I sit in the studio and could almost laugh at the extraordinary progress I am making and the lovely things I am inventing! - I have now in the studio a Phryne[8] - a Dannae - an Eve - an Odalisque - and a Bathsheba - that carried out ou[gh]t to bring in two or three thousand apiece! - MacMonnies[9] says he has never seen anything like the Phryne - which I am going to do large - after completing the little one - which by the way will make two - so that I see excellent business if I can only hold on! I mean, don't you see that I must not allow small ordinary considerations of Exhibition or what not in the way of periods to interfere with work of this character which I always looked forward to and was sure would one of these days announce itself - bursting forth suddenly as the result of much preparation! All these inventions are since you left me the other day!

Now you see my dear Publisher and charming host, I have impulsively poured into your private ear - so you know "where I am at!" Voilà! Write us a line and say you think it is all right - (Of course I have just had your letter from Brighton) and tell the Financier how delighted I am with him.

I had a charming letter from your kind and handsome cousin Mrs Walter[10] - Remember me to both. -


[butterfly signature]

What about "Tuesday"?

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1.  [31 January 1898]

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

3.  ALS
Published in Thorp, Nigel (Editor), Whistler on Art: Selected Letters and Writings 1849-1903 of James McNeill Whistler, Manchester, 1994, and Washington, 1995, no. 66.

4.  Financier
Edmund Heinemann (b. ca 1866), stockbroker [more].

5.  Kalgourlies
In February 1898 there was a slight fall in some of the shares in Western Australian gold mines, but Kalgoorlie Mint shares were rising (Times, London, 17 February 1898, p. 4, 'Money Market').

6.  Eden business
JW's dispute with Sir William Eden (1849-1915), painter and collector [more], over Brown and Gold: Portrait of Lady Eden (YMSM 408). Eden instituted legal proceedings against him in 1894 but JW eventually won the case on appeal in December 1897. See JW's account of the affair: Whistler, James McNeill, Eden versus Whistler: The Baronet and the Butterfly. A Valentine with a Verdict, Paris and New York, 1899 [GM, A.24].

7.  Drummond
Drummond and Co., JW's London bankers.

8.  Phryne
Purple and Gold: Phryne the Superb! - Builder of Temples (YMSM 490).

9.  MacMonnies
Frederick William MacMonnies (1863-1937), sculptor [more].

10.  Mrs Walter
Mrs Heinemann, wife of W. D. Heinemann [more].