The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 10808
Date: [23 October 1898][1]
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: William Heinemann[2]
Place: London
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 10/893
Document Type: TLc

Sunday evening -

110 Rue du Bac.

I can make nothing of it! - Didn't you get my letter[3] - containing the one to Russell[4]?

I should be so disappointed if it had been too late for the Saturday's steamer! Still, I don't know - for in that letter I told you that I was leaving the hotel - and now your telegram[5] (about proofs) you still send to Hotel!

Now what is to be done? Of course on this Sunday evening no official will give me anything - even if he were there - and if I know where "there" really is!

I suppose you must just fire away and print! - and directly I get these proofs if there be slight alterations, they will appear in the next batch, which would be probably the very next day - for I suppose we shall just go on.

As to George's[6] outcry of "grossly libellous"! of course we know before asking that the matter in the book is libellous enough as applied to any innocent gentleman - but it is a question of person not matter! - And "what is one man's defamation is another man's description!" - (How do you like that? - ask George from me - )

The man who in the Courts of Paris has been called Sharper - sorry gentleman - aigre - in - Trickster, and whose acts have been ascribed to cunning - calculation - and "parsimonie" - can only now find it libellous to be called William Eden!! -

Well I will run with this to the Gare du Nord and enquire on the way is possible -

[p. 2] I do hope you sent off my letter on Saturday, (yesterday) to Russell.

St. Gaudens[7] and MacMonnies[8] here were so indignant - Tell Pauling[9] that I thank him for his nice letter and will write -

I am so much pleased at what you say about the harm done being slighter than we supposed - We had I suppose not sufficiently considered the beautiful dullness of the people -

Still we must lose no time - though I should like to have seen the Butterflies in their places -

Of course Russell is out of it and damned for ever - What do you think of my suggestion about McIlvaine[10]? -

If anything important tomorrow wire - 110.


[butterfly signature]

You must have heard more by this. One thing is certainly significant - if the Baronet were bringing action he surely would have begun already? -

What does the great George say?

If tomorrow morning you think that there might still be a day spared, you can wire - for I suppose the proofs will arrive by them - I daresay you have it all right through - But it is devilish that here should be this other annoyance with the post.

Your last telegram was most refreshing and encouraging


This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [23 October 1898]
Dated by Heinemann, acccording to the Pennells' note on this typescript copy.

2.  William Heinemann
William Heinemann (1863-1920), publisher [more]. This letter relates to the publication of Whistler, James McNeill, Eden versus Whistler: The Baronet and the Butterfly. A Valentine with a Verdict, Paris and New York, 1899 [GM, A.24], JW's account of his dispute with Sir William Eden (1849-1915), painter and collector [more] over Brown and Gold: Portrait of Lady Eden (YMSM 408), a portrait of Eden's wife.

3.  my letter
Probably JW to W. Heinemann, [18 October 1898], #10806.

4.  Russell
Robert Howard Russell, writer, journalist and publisher [more], was involved in publishing extracts from the Baronet and the Butterfly in the New York Critic before the book itself had come out (see #13199, and JW's letter to Russell, 20 October 1898, #07512.

5.  telegram

6.  George's
Sir George Henry Lewis (1833-1911), society lawyer [more].

7.  St. Gaudens
Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907), sculptor [more].

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

9.  Pauling
A misspelling of Sidney Southgate Pawling (d. 1922), business partner of the publisher W. H. Heinemann [more]. Pawling's letter is untraced.

10.  McIlvaine
Clarence W. McIlvaine (d. 1913), publisher and agent for Harper and Bros [more].