The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Ten O'Clock Lecture, publication
Record 14 of 71

System Number: 02039
Date: 22 March 1888
Author: James R. Osgood[1]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler H140
Document Type: ALS



March 22. 1888

Dear Mr Whistler:

I wrote you[2] several days ago asking for an interview on the subject of "Ten O'Clock."[3] No reply has been received.

In order to bring the matter to a definite form I make you on behalf of Messrs Harper & Brothers the following offer

1. To pay you One Hundred Pounds for the first use of the Lecture in Harper's Magazine. This privilege to be exclusive so far as serial or periodical publication is concerned.

2. To take a set of plates [p. 2] from Messrs Chatto & Windus[4] at the price they have named to me and publish an Edition in America in the same form as they publish here, and pay you fifteen per cent royalty on the retail price of all sold. This edition not to be published in either country until a fortnight after the publication of the Magazine, and then simultaneously.

These two proposals are to be taken together, not separately. I have reason to suppose such an arrangement will be agreeable to Messrs Chatto & Windus.

Please let me hear from you soon. If you wish to see me I will meet you anywhere

Yours truly

J. R. Osgood

J. A. McNeil [sic] Whistler Eq

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  James R. Osgood
James Ripley Osgood (1836-1892), agent for Harper and Bros, publishers [more].

2.  wrote you
See J. R. Osgood to JW, #02038.

3.  Ten O'Clock
The 'Ten O'Clock Lecture' was JW's chief public statement of his aesthetic ideas. It was first delivered in London on 20 February 1885. The New York publishing firm Harper & Brothers first made their proposal to publish the 'Ten O'Clock Lecture' in Harper's Monthly Magazine in February (see Harper to JW, #02035). However, according to another letter from Osgood (#02037), Harper & Co. had declined to meet JW's terms over publication of the lecture in book form.

4.  Messers. Chatto & Windus
London firm of publishers who would publish the 'Ten O'Clock Lecture' on 11 May. Hence, Osgood was anxious to resolve contractual matters between the two firms.