The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: theatre, play
Record 8 of 30

System Number: 10586
Date: [1887?][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Mrs Francis Jeune[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Garrick Club, London
Call Number: Jeune vol. no. 152
Document Type: ALS

Quite hopeless I am dear Mrs Jeune! - wicked influences are between us - and I fear me you will only weary of me altogether -

On Saturday I am dining at Madame du Quaires[3] - and am off in search of a climate almost directly after - Let me in my turn make one more desperate effort - and suppose that it were possible you could be early enough to get back to your own guests - Would you come here tomorrow and breakfast at 12 - and meet La Tosca[4] at the table when she has no intention of slaying her host with the bread knife? - and is only charming? - like "nous autres[5]" - ourselves! -

Will you dear Mrs Jeune say this for me to Mr Jeune[6], and believe me
Always devotedly

[butterfly signature]

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [1887?]
Dated by the reference to La Tosca (see below).

2.  Mrs Francis Jeune
Susan Mary Elizabeth Jeune, née Stuart-Mackenzie, later Lady Jeune, society hostess, journalist and charity worker [more].

3.  Madame du Quaires
Fanny M. Du Quaire, collector, a social acquaintance of JW [more].

4.  La Tosca
The melodrama La Tosca, upon which Puccini's opera is based, was written by the playwright Victorien Sardou as a vehicle for Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923), née Henrietta Rosine Bernard, actress [more]. It was an enormous success in 1887; she was then at the height of her career, and performed it all over Europe and the Americas for the next 25 years. Tosca, and opera in three acts, with libretto by Luigi Illica (prose text) and Giuseppe Giacosa (verses), was based on Sardou's play, with music by Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924), and was first performed on 14 January 1900 at the Teatro Costanzi, Rome. In 1906, Sarah Bernhardt made her second film, a hand-coloured two-reeler of Tosca. She was so horrified by the film that she tried - but failed - to have all the negatives bought up and burned.

5.  nous autres
Fr., we others.

6.  Mr Jeune
Rt. Hon. Sir Francis Henry Jeune (1843-1905), barrister, judge and Privy Councillor [more].