The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 11178
Date: [15/20 May 1896][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Richard D'Oyly Carte[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 8/455-6
Document Type: TLc

St. Jude's Cottage - Heath End,

I cannot write to you dear good d'Oyley and Mrs d'Oyley[3] - but I would like to tell you how we felt all your delicate care for us -

It was always a pleasure to go to you, feeling sure that it would be a gladness to you to smooth out any little difficulty in our way -

Be assured that much of our comfort, in our sad absence from our home was entirely due to the ever ready kindness and eager promptness with which you secured for us all possible attention and courtesy[4] - It will be I am sure a happiness to you to know that my Trixie[5] felt all this - and thanked you - and hoped to see you -

We were beaten in our fight, by the ignorance and cant of our first doctors - and because of the loss of precious time! - in their shameless hands -

As it was - much was recovered - and there was none of the suffering and gruesomeness that go to make the gossip of the papers - in a taste, unknown in any but this Christian Land! -

Too late!! - That is the secret of it - too late did we rid ourselves of the pompous incapacity of the faculty - or we should have won - without the vestige of a doubt! - And the sun has gone out of my sky forever -

(p. 2) I stay here but to do what she would wish me to accomplish - for the painting was her joy -

I shall send for you both one day - that I may shake the hands of my two proven friends - for I always liked you both.


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1.  [15/20 May 1896]
Dated by the reference to the death of JW's wife on 10 May 1896.

2.  Richard D'Oyly Carte
Richard D'Oyly Carte (1844-1901), impresario and property developer [more].

3.  Mrs d'Oyley
Caroline Maria D'Oyly (1808-1889), wife of General D'Oyly of the Grenadier Guards [more]; or Helen Lenoir (1852-1913), née Coupar Black, actress and stage manager [more].

4.  attention and courtesy
It was due to the D'Oyly Cartes that the Whistlers were able to stay at the Savoy Hotel in March-April 1896.

5.  Trixie
Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more].