The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: war
Record 20 of 44

System Number: 04771
Date: [2 February 1900][1]
Author: JW
Place: [Paris]
Recipient: Rosalind Birnie Philip[2]
Place: London
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler P411
Document Type: ALS[3]

Fri [evening?]
'Feb. 2nd 1900'[4]

Well - no - Major my dear -

I had not heard of this brilliant and of course brutal assault by the plucky Briton[5]! -

It is magnificent! -

So odd - not a whisper of it here - where it would be so exquisitely enjoyed! -

I am at once hastening out to dine that I may tell the story to a gasping [p. 2] audience of eager and astounded listeners! -

For once I feel the delight of the man with the latest outrage at the tip of his tongue - and tomorrow this amazing scandal will be all over Paris!! -

You may be sure I shall do it all justice Major! - & thank you for giving me the chance! - and quite proper too from the Ward.!

I shall be splendid. You can hear me...! "Such glorious ruffianism! straight from the shoulder! is I take it - only still to be found with the tatooed, who eats his Missionary, and the grand Islander who avenges his country's humiliation upon the person of an Ambassador! hitherto supposed by all civilised peoples to be inviolate!! ... -

Mind you tell Bunnie[6] and mind you send me the cutting from the paper about it - -

I'm off!

Affectionately to all,

the General.

My news is tame besides yours - but you shall have it

Have[7] you found the keys of the [trunk?] in the studio?

This document is protected by copyright.


Miss Rosalind Birnie-Philip
Dhu House -
36. Tite Street
Angleterre -
[postmark:] PARIS-81 / BD DES CAPUCINES / 10E / 2 / FEVR / 00
[postmark on verso:] LONDON S. W. / 5.45PM / FE 3 / 00 / 5B


1.  [2 February 1900]
Dated from postmark.

2.  Rosalind Birnie Philip
Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more]. JW called her 'Major' and himself 'General'.

3.  ALS
The stationery has a deep mourning border.

4.  'Feb. 2nd 1900'
Added in the hand of R. B. Philip.

5.  plucky Briton
Not identified. This probably related to some recent event of the Boer War (1899-1902).

6.  Bunnie
Ethel Whibley (1861-1920), née Philip, JW's sister-in-law [more].

7.  Have ... studio?
This line is added in the left margin of p. 2, side-on to the main text.