The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Record 11 of 15

System Number: 11279
Date: [24/26 November 1897][1]
Author: JW
Place: [Paris]
Recipient: William Heinemann[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 10/862-3
Document Type: TLc

Here now! Have it copied and take it round to Frank Harris[3] -

Show him the original as who should say "If you don't put it in, and properly too, with respectful care, it goes elsewhere!["] And by and bye into the Gentle Art[4] anyhow - though you needn't mention that ! - Of course don't show him this or his funk would be too great - You must tell him though that we will have no tricks -

Tell them at the P. M. G.[5] to send me half a dozen copies of the complete report, with all the letters in it - Those others that Pawling[6] sent are no good - and I think that is that last "extra special" of the evening it would have been better to have taken out the whole thing - as it also may mislead - like May's[7] "slip"!

Why have you not answered at all my letter[8]? and the notion of the new little text book? - It may even go farther and contain extracts from Beurdeley[9] - the whole in short of the Whistler trial - You see you have not as yet quite taken in that this trial "fait époque"[!?] and was most seriously followed - for it now finally makes law[10]. From now, as a result of this good fight, is established, to the eternal tranquility of the artist, the triumphant fact that his work belongs to him to the bitter end, when he shall have, to his own satisfaction, delivered it into the hands of another! He now, for the first [p. 2] time, is master of the situation - and has full power at any moment to refuse to give his picture, poem, or statue to the creature who has shown himself unworthy! Also is his right to destroy his own production, sooner than that it should fall into "unpleasant places", entirely recognised! (You had better take care of this letter for I might want it for further development) So now you see why the text book would come in!

What is this about America and Next Saturday! - Impossible! - Arrange for the Saturday after and I will manage to run over to Garlants[11] to see you, mon ami.

[butterfly signature]

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [24/26 November 1897]
This letter may precede #11277; it is dated from the references to Eden v. Whistler and to Frank Harris (see below).

2.  William Heinemann
William Heinemann (1863-1920), publisher [more]. This letter relates to the outcome of JW's legal dispute with Sir William Eden (1849-1915), painter and collector [more], over Brown and Gold: Portrait of Lady Eden (YMSM 408), a portrait of Eden's wife. For JW's account of the affair, see Whistler, James McNeill, Eden versus Whistler: The Baronet and the Butterfly. A Valentine with a Verdict, Paris and New York, 1899 [GM, A.24].

3.  Frank Harris
James Thomas ('Frank') Harris (1856-1931), writer and playwright, editor of the Fortnightly Review and Saturday Review [more]. He was then editor of the Saturday Review, and published a letter from JW (Whistler, James McNeill, 'An Acknowledgement,' The Saturday Review, no. 2196, vol. 84, 27 November 1897). A letter from JW to Heinemann contains similar language in refering to Harris and the letter publication, [24 November 1897], #08024) .

4.  Gentle Art
Whistler, James McNeill, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, 2nd ed., London and New York, 1892.

5.  P. M. G.
The Pall Mall Gazette. The letters and report referred to by JW may have been those published in Anon., 'Letters to the Editor about Eden v. Whistler,' The Pall Mall Gazette, March 1895 and Anon., 'The Eden Case,' The Pall Mall Gazette, 21 March 1895.

6.  Pawling
Sidney Southgate Pawling (d. 1922), business partner of the publisher W. H. Heinemann [more].

7.  May's
Louis-Henry May, printer [more], who printed Eden versus Whistler: The Baronet and the Butterfly.

8.  my letter
Possibly the letter from JW to Heinemann, in which he mentions the possibility of a 'new little pamphlet', which may be 'the new little text book' mentioned here, #11277.

9.  Beurdeley
Paul Beurdeley (1842-after 1902), advocate at the Cour d'Appel, Paris [more].

10.  makes law
Double underlined.

11.  Garlants
Garlant's Hotel, Suffolk Street, a London hotel frequented by JW.