The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Record 11 of 11

System Number: 06256
Date: [1/13 May 1899?][1]
Author: JW
Place: [Paris?]
Recipient: George Webb[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W251
Document Type: ALS[3]


I also have delayed - or rather, been delayed! But you must not imagine for a moment my dear Mr. Webb, that your copy of the work you have so immensely helped to bring [p. 2] into existence, both by covert and representative power at the back, has been forgotten!

You will see presently arriving the "Baronet[4]" in all his unexpected beauty! but very daintily hinted at in the trial proof given to you for opinion!

Always sincerely

J McNeill Whistler

Send one line to tell me if in your opinion the Baronets delay does not entirely weaken his case for prosecution - 'Yes'

Do you think it possible still for him to proceed? 'Yes'

Can you get circuitously at his lawyers? - 'No'

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [1/13 May 1899?]
The date '1899' is written in another hand at top of p. 1. Dated from reference to the publication of JW's book on 13 May 1899 (see note below).

2.  George Webb
George Webb (b. ca 1835), of G. and W. Webb. lawyer [more].

3.  ALS
Written on deep-bordered mourning paper. The answers to JW's questions on p. 2 are written in pencil in the left margin, probably in Webb's hand.

4.  Baronet
Whistler, James McNeill, Eden versus Whistler: The Baronet and the Butterfly. A Valentine with a Verdict, Paris and New York, 1899 [GM, A.24], JW's account of the Eden affair, published in May 1899. This letter relates to JW's 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. On 14 February 1894, with the picture seemingly nearing completion, Eden sent JW a 'Valentine' cheque for 100 guineas. But JW was dissatisfied with his work and refused to hand it over to Eden, believing it was the artist's right to withhold a picture in such circumstances. When Eden instituted legal proceedings against him in November 1894 in order to retrieve it, JW returned all monies that had been paid to him. However, the dispute dragged on until December 1897 when JW, on appeal, was permitted by the Cour de Cassation in Paris to keep the picture provided that he did not make use of it.