The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 10937
Date: 4 April [1888][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: William Thomas Stead[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Call Number: bMS Eng 1352 (13)
Credit Line: Published by permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard University
Document Type: PLc[3]



SIR, -

My apologies, I pray you, to the much disturbed gentleman, "Your Reviewer," who complains that I have allowed "just three weeks" to go by without noticing his writing.

Let me hasten, lest he be further offended, to acknowledge his answer, in Saturday's paper.

After much matter, he comes unexpectedly upon a clear understanding of my letter - "It will be observed," he says naïvely, "that Mr. Whistler is merely seeking to create an impression that your Reviewer never saw the work he criticized," - herein he is completely right, this is absolutely the impression I did seek to create - "which," he continues, "is surely not a creditable position to take up" - again I agree with him, and admit the sad spectacle, a "Reviewer" presents in such position.

He further "declares," and calls upon you Sir, to "corroborate" him, "that a printed copy of Mr. Whistler's misleading lecture was placed in my hands for review" - and moreover, that "the notice did not appear until the pamphlet was duly advertised by Messrs Chatto and Windus[5] as ready."

Pausing to note that if the lecture had not seemed misleading to him, it would surely not have been worth uttering at all, I come to the copy in question - this could only have been a printed proof, quaintly acquired - as will be seen by the following letter from Messrs. Chatto and Windus, which I must beg you, Sir, to publish, with this note - as it deals also with the remaining point, the advertisement of the pamphlet.

And, I am, Sir



April 4

[butterfly signature]

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1.  4 April [1888]
Year date from date of publication in the Pall Mall Gazette

2.  William Thomas Stead
William Thomas Stead (1849-1912), editor of the Pall Mall Gazette from 1883-1890, founder-editor of the Review of Reviews in 1890 [more].

3.  PLc
See also letter draft, #04383, and Chatto & Windus to JW, #09048. The two letters - #09048 and #10937 - were published in the Pall Mall Gazette on 7 April 1888, p. 3.

JW's 'Ten O'Clock Lecture',' his chief public statement on art, was about to be published by Chatto on 11 May. However, a review had already been published in the Pall Mall Gazette on 6 March which prompted a flurry of correspondence between JW and the 'Reviewer.' The whole incident may have been set up by JW to publicise the volume. See JW to the Editor, Pall Mall Gazette, #13304, #10936; #11424; #10937.

5.  Messrs. Chatto & Windus
London firm of publishers.

6.  Your Reviewer
Probably Marion Henry Alexander Spielmann (1858-1948), journalist and writer on art [more].