The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 11417
Date: [30 November 1886][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: George Earle Buckle[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Published[3]
Document Type: PLc

Dear Sir, -

Permit me to call your courteous attention to the fact that the enclosed letter to the Editor [p. 2] of the Times is in reply to an article that appeared in your paper - and that, as I sign my name in full, I alone am responsible for its tone or form; indeed, that such is its tone and form, is because it is my letter.

In common fairness the answer to, or comment upon, any statements made in your paper should be published in your paper, as proper etiquette prevents its insertion in any other journal.

Also, you surely would not propose to dictate certain forms or styles in which alone the columns of the Times are to be approached - as who should say all other savour of sacrilege! - or acquiescence alone would do, and you would have to write all your letters yourselves.

My letter concerns the effect produced by criticism of a commonplace and inferior kind, wholly unworthy the first paper in England - and I am startled to learn, and still unwilling to believe, that the Times would shun all ventilation and refuse to publish any letter as its sole means of screening its staff or protecting its writers.

I submit that the tone of my letter sins against no laws that are accepted in antagonism - that it offends in no way the etiquette of attack known to gentlemen.

[p. 3] I beg, therefore, again, that if there be still time for its insertion, you will have it printed in your issue of to-morrow, or will say that it shall appear in the Times of Thursday morning.

I am, dear Sir,
Very faithfully,


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1.  [30 November 1886]
This is a response to the rejection (#13419) of JW's letter (#09473) of the same date. According to JW this letter was written the day before the Editor's reply dated 1 December 1886 (#11409).

2.  George Earl Buckle
George Earl Buckle (1854-1935), editor of the Times from 1884-1912 [more].

3.  Published
Transcribed from Whistler, James McNeill, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, London and New York, 1890, pp. 199-201. The original has not been located.