UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 13373
Date: [3/10 September 1896][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: [unknown][2]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler S55b
Document Type: ALd


No! - I dont care about it - Why should I bring discomfort upon my cousins[3] - the Kings of Georgia - the Fairfaxes of Virginia - the Johnstones of [...]

And after all it is my affair - for the time has gone by when a man shall be born without being consulted - Maryland then I accept - my Maryland - and Baltimore - the "city of monuements" [sic] - what monuements? - let us not inquire - but charming and artistic - and vaguely associated with Poe[4] - who of course was born elsewhere - as the [illegible ] execrable Griswold[5] [did?] readily prove - How tiresome indeed are the Griswolds of this world - and how offensive - Pinning their unimportant name on to the linen of the great as they return the taken after their stolen intercepted wash, they go down to to posterity with their impudent bill, and posterity the [Rioph?] accept and remember them as the unrequited benefactors of ungrateful genius - So Carlyle had his Foster[6] - and Rosetti[7] [sic] his disciples scribbling intimates - Poor Rosetti! - a Prince among his fellows - I remember him[8], the [barbaric?] court [over?] which he reigned with the joyous feast & with strong affection, his simple ingenious superiority as he throned it in Chelsea -

The fascinating ease of the Italian - the sweet southern sunniness of temperament that abhorred ignored the vulgar haste and interested [haste?] elbowing of his surrounding - What a sad comedy it all was since now by the light of the sequel! -

His life a rare example of trusting peacefulness (trust & peace) - to the more turbulent ones - Avoiding all noise & discussion of the exhibition - all vexation of [...]


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Notes:

1.  [3/10 September 1896]
This was drafted in pencil on the verso of an unrelated letter from C. H. Shannon to JW, dated 2 September 1896, #05411

2.  [unknown]
Possibly written to a newspaper, but not published, as far as is known.

3.  cousins
JW had numerous relations in the southern states of America; he may have been thinking specifically of the families of Isabella Kingsley, AMW's aunt, wife of George Gibbs, Donald McNeill Fairfax (1821-1894), naval officer, JW's cousin [more], and Anna Johnstone (1787-1870), Martha McNeill's cousin [more].

4.  Poe
Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849), writer and poet [more].

5.  Griswold
Rufus Wilmot Griswold (1815-1857), biographer of Poe. His controversial biography was attached to the first collected edition of Poe's work in 1850. The Encyclopedia Brittanica later commented, ' the acrimonious tone ... gave natural offence' (1911).

6.  Carlyle had his Foster
Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), historian and philosopher [more]. JW was probably confusing John Forster (1812-1876), biographer of Charles Dickens, with James Anthony Froude (1818-1894), literary executor and biographer of Thomas Carlyle. Froude's biography was notoriously contentious as it brought details of Carlyle's unhappy marriage into the public spotlight for the first time. See Froude, J. A., Thomas Carlyle : A History Of The First Forty Years Of His Life: 1795-1835, London, 1882; Froude, J. A., Thomas Carlyle: A History Of His Life In London, 1834-1881, London, 1884.

7.  Rosetti
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882), artist and poet [more].

8.  him...in Chelsea
This line is written in black ink. Additions made within this sentence however are made in pencil.