The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: press-review
Record 59 of 71

System Number: 11287
Date: [29 May/June 1899][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: William Heinemann[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 11/942-3
Document Type: TLc

What then in the name of all that is exasperating is this Congress in which you have so utterly disappeared? -

I make nothing out of it all - and conceive the Baronet[3] to have really managed devilish well! - I suppose that George Moore[4] is, in a way, a power, and toadied to by the writing people because of all this.

In short the bottom seems to have fallen out - and none of your men, you were so sure of, have ventured to come up to the scratch -

There is no use saying anything more about it -

The book itself, in time, will assert itself strongly enough - but meanwhile you have been jockeyed by your journalists just as surely as I was by the Baronet! -


I fancy that here things are going to be better - for I have had a charming letter - with detailed plans - and preparations accomplished from Davrey[5] -

I don't see why you shouldn't write to me "anyhow!" - And fancy my being asked from the office as to whether Simpkins[6] should be furnished with circulars, and whether it were not well to advertise more freely .....!

[butterfly signature]

Tell your wife[7], with my best compliments, and most charming messages, that I entirely take her view of yourself and [p. 2] and your Congress! and that I will think out an Oval[8] of herself that shall embody our indignation at neglected Beauty and Genius!!

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1.  [29 May/June 1899]
Dated from the reference to reviews of Eden versus Whistler and to H. D'Avray (see below).

2.  William Heinemann
William Heinemann (1863-1920), publisher [more].

3.  Baronet
Sir William Eden (1849-1915), painter and collector [more]. In 1894, JW quarrelled with Eden over the completion of Brown and Gold: Portrait of Lady Eden (YMSM 408), a portrait of Eden's wife. Eden instituted legal proceedings against him but the case was not resolved until December 1897. 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] for JW's account of the affair. It was published on 13 May 1899.

4.  George Moore
George Moore (1852-1933), novelist and art critic [more]. JW had also quarrelled with Moore who had first introduced him to Eden.

5.  Davrey
Henry Durand Davray (1873-1944), journalist, translator and literary critic [more], proposed to write favourable reviews of JW's book; see his letter to JW, 28 May 1899, #00808.

6.  Simkins
Booksellers and distributors.

7.  wife
Magda Stuart Heinemann (m. 1899), née Sindici, pseudonym 'Kassandra Vivaria', writer [more]. She married Heinemann on 22 February 1899 at Porto d'Anzio, near Rome.

8.  Oval
JW painted an oval canvas, Portrait of Mrs William Heinemann (YMSM 531).