UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: etching sets, Thames
Record 3 of 4

System Number: 06540
Date: 22 November [1868[1]]
Author: Anna Matilda Whistler[2]
Place: London
Recipient: James H. Gamble[3]
Recipient: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: Whistler W534
Document Type: ALS


[embossed monogram:] AMW

My ever dear friend

Just a line ere I & Jamie[4] bid good night to each other for I shall sleep better for relieving my mind of the haunting fear which suddenly came to cause me self reproach. You & I know each other so thoroughly I need not be restrained lest frankness should cause offence. Upon reflection it seems to me that you perhaps might not have indulged in so expensive a set of Etchings[5] had you known of their rise in price since the French[6] [p. 2] set were offered our friends at two guineas! for tho our Artist has no value for his juvenile productions, they may be as pleasing generally as his Thames Etchings & you who go about doing good ought not to feel obliged to give the difference in price - without your having been made aware of it. you doubtless have so many worthy & interesting objects for your liberal desire to help others. So I propose "splitting the difference" & that you receive again the cheque & reduce it to half.

The Pictures were delivered here yesterday safely & put directly in the back Studio. they are most valuable as proofs that you thought of Jamie [p. 3] who now bids me thank you for your kindness. I hope the storm which we feel roughly on the river here - may clear away in a day or two that you may bring your dear Harriet[7] again to see me in an afternoon. I shall be rather awkwardly situated when my nice servant Mary[8] takes her leave of our service on Wednesday next, but you are not ceremonious, & we must imagine ourselves at Scarsdale Cottage[9] again & only a Topsey[10] to wait upon my friends. In haste as ever

Affectionately
Your old friend

A M Whistler

This is entre-nous[11]!

2 Lindsey Row Chelsea

Sunday night 22nd Novr


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Notes:

1.  1868
Dated with reference to the Perpetual Calendar Whitaker's Almanac, and the marriage of James H. Gamble which took place probably on 4 October 1868; see AMW to James H. Gamble, #06537.

2.  Anna Matilda Whistler
Anna Matilda Whistler (1804-1881), née McNeill, JW's mother [more].

3.  James H. Gamble
James H. Gamble (b. 1820), clerk [more].

4.  Jamie
James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), artist [more].

5.  set of Etchings
Probably etchings which were later published as A Series of Sixteen Etchings of Scenes on the Thames, 1871 (the 'Thames Set') (K.38-44, 46, 52, 66, 68, 71, 74-76, 95).

6.  French
Twelve Etchings from Nature, 1858 (the 'French Set', K.9-11, 13-17, 19, 21, 22, 24).

7.  Harriet
Harriet Gamble, née Wheaton, wife of J. H. Gamble.

8.  Mary
Mary, a servant of AMW.

9.  Scarsdale Cottage
AMW lived intermittently at Scarsdale, NY between c. September 1851 and November 1857 in a cottage owned by her friend Margaret Getfield Hill.

10.  Topsey
'Topsy' was an orphan slave girl in Harriet E. Beecher Stowe's famous anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin, published in the National Era in 1851-52 and in book form in 1852. However AMW refers here to Eliza (d. 1856), a servant of Kate Livermore [more]; see AMW to JW 27 August 1851, #06399, and AMW to JW, 16 September 1851, #06400.

11.  entre-nous
Fr., between ourselves.