The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
Home > On-line Edition > Browse Subjects > Document Display

return to search results

Documents associated with: health (JW)
Record 8 of 172

System Number: 12669
Date: [July 1877/May 1879[1]]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Elizabeth Greaves[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscripts Division, Pennell Whistler Collection, PWC 9/649/1
Document Type: TLc[3]

Dear Mrs Greaves -

You know me too well to have thought my silence could possibly mean indifference - Every afternoon I have been sure that I could run in and bring what you so very kindly lent me - and I cannot tell you how shocked and pained I am that everything should have gone wrong and I have not managed to prevent your being annoyed by my unheard [o]f tardiness - Believe me I will not allow a moment to be lost in the matter - bu[t] the client upon whom I relied and who was to have come any day this week has just sent me word that he will call next week - I should have been in to see you all before now but I have been the victim of am [sic] awful attack of dejection and the "blues[4]" which I did not wish to communicate - Although I don't know what has happened to the Row[5]? Ever since that Peacock Room[6] I've had no luck! And am really for the time ruined by it! -

With kindest regards and love to all
Ever sincerely Yours,

J. A. McN. Whistler.

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  July 1877/May 1879
The letter probably dates from after July 1877 when JW had completed Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room (YMSM 178) and quarrelled with Frederick Richards Leyland (1832-1892), ship-owner and art collector [more], and before May 1879 when he was declared bankrupt.

2.  Elizabeth Greaves
The recipient was almost certainly Elizabeth Greaves (1810-1900), née Greenaway, wife of C. W. Greaves [more].

3.  TLc
The original has not been traced.

4.  Row
JW moved to 2 Lindsey Row (renamed 96 Cheyne Walk in 1876) in February 1868. He lived there until June 1878, when he left the 'Row' for the White House in Tite Street. The Greaves family inhabited 103 and 104 Cheyne Walk.

5.  blues
JW rarely admitted to depression, but apparently suffered from it both before and after his bankruptcy, in 1879-1880 (see #06687).

6.  Peacock Room
Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room (YMSM 178).