The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
Home > On-line Edition > Transcription/Database Record

the on-line edition

System Number: 11216
Date: 27 October 1894
Author: The Speaker[1]
Place: [London]
Recipient: William Webb[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC
Document Type: PD

A more striking case of sensitive satirist presented by the eccentric genius who wrote "The Gentle Art of Making Enemies" nobody has ever approached Mr. Whistler in the candour of his personalities and his contempt for the ordinary observances of society; but when a candid portrait of himself[3] appears in a work of fiction nothing will satisfy him except an apology from the publishers and an alteration of the offensive passage.


Oct. 27. 94

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  The Speaker
Published in The Speaker, 27 October 1894.

2.  William Webb
William Webb (b. ca 1851), of G. and W. Webb, lawyer [more].

3.  portrait of himself
When Trilby first appeared in serial parts in Harper's Magazine in 1894, JW objected to Du Maurier's portrayal of himself in the character of Joe Sibley, the 'Idle Apprentice' in the March issue. Harper's subsequently apologised and Du Maurier toned down the references to JW. When the book was published in 1894, drawings of JW were also omitted. See W. Webb to Harper and Brothers, 29 May [1894], #06180; and JW to G. Webb, [June 1894], #06183. Du Maurier, George, 'Trilby,' Harper's New Monthly Magazine, serialised, begun 1 January 1894; reprinted (expunged) as Trilby: A Novel, New York, 1894; regular ed., London and New York, 1895. The letter of public apology JW demanded of Harper and Brothers was published in the first week of October, although it was dated 8 September 1894 (#09879).