The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 11084
Date: [18 July 1887][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: William Michael Rossetti[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: University of British Columbia Library, Rare Books and Special Collections
Call Number: Helen Rossetti Angeli - Imogen Dennis Collection, Box 24, Folder 19
Document Type: ALS

'J. M. Whistler[3] to William Rossetti'


'[18 July/87[4]'

My dear William -

I am shocked to find that a lithographed letter[5], which with it's fellows, had foundtheirits way into the waste paper basket, turns out to have been an invitation to a function from which I would not for worlds have been absent - I mean, of course, the unveiling of the drinking fountain in memory of Gabriel Rossetti[6] -

[p. 2] I am greatly mortified to know that foolish inattention to printed circulars should have lost me an occasion of doing honour to a man of your brother's rare calibre] -

Is it not a pity that a matter of such weight should have been heralded in such an unimportant manner! -

No personal note of any kind came to warn me of the event, and [I never dreamed that a ceremony of this great interest was taking place within a stone's throw of my own home -

I can only trust that no other old friend of Gabriel's was disappointed from the same cause -

Always affectionately Yours

J McNeill Whistler

454 Fulham Road[7] - ]

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [18 July 1887]
Dated from note '18 July /87' added in an unknown hand in the margin, and confirmed by W. M. Rossetti's reply, 21 July 1887 (#05250). There is a draft of JW's letter (#05249).

2.  William Michael Rossetti
William Michael Rossetti (1829-1919), civil servant and critic [more].

3.  J. M. Whistler ... July/87
Notes added in another hand. The address 'BEEFSTEAK CLUB' is embossed on page.

4.  [18 July/87
Brackets placed around certain sections of the letter text by another hand suggest that the letter was being edited for publication.

5.  letter
Untraced, but see W. M. Rossetti's reply (#05250).

6.  Gabriel Rossetti
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882), artist and poet [more]. A memorial fountain, incorporating a bust of Rossetti by Ford Madox Brown (1821-1893), painter [more], was unveiled at Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, on 14 July. Rossetti's house at No. 16 was opened to guests who included Robert Browning (1812-1889), writer and poet [more], and William Holman Hunt (1827-1910), artist [more]. Holman Hunt presided over the ceremony.

7.  454 Fulham Road
JW had first met Rossetti while living at 2 Lindsey Row between February 1868 and 1878 (in 1876 it was renamed Cheyne Walk), when he left the 'Row' for the White House in Tite Street. The studio at 454 Fulham Road and JW's house in the Vale, where he lived from late 1884 to 1888, was still close to the Rossetti house on Cheyne Walk.