The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Record 10 of 51

System Number: 08062
Date: [July 1877/September 1879?][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Frances Leyland[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 2/16/12
Document Type: ALS

Dear Mrs Leyland -

The dinner as far as my malicious intent was concerned was a failure - as far as Mrs Cossins[3] cookery went a great success -

Armstrong[4] Lamont[5] and Moore[6] came and the evening was pleasant - tho I regret it was not spent at the Hotel - Now I write this to ask if you think you might not dine here on Friday - and then if you send word Yes, by Miss Caird[7] tomorrow morning I can at once send John[8] with a note to the Edens[9] to ask them to meet you? [p. 2] If they happen not to be engaged it might be a jolly party - If they are and you prefer going to the theatre we can still do that -

Hoping that you have pleasant letters from Freddie and the girls[10]

With kindest regards
Very sincerely Yours

J A McN. Whistler

Wednesday night.

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [July 1877/September 1879?]
This letter probably dates from after JW's quarrel with Frederick Richards Leyland (1832-1892), ship-owner and art collector [more], over the cost of Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room (YMSM 178). On 17 July 1877 Leyland expressly forbade JW to see Mrs Leyland (F. R. Leyland to JW, #02585), but JW may have ignored his threats. The references to Mrs Cossins, cook, and John Cossins, servant at the White House, could suggest a date between about September 1878 and September 1879.

2.  Frances Leyland
Frances Leyland (1836-1910), née Dawson [more].

3.  Cossins
Caroline Cossins (b. ca 1839), JW's cook [more].

4.  Armstrong
Thomas Armstrong (1832-1911), artist and Director of Art, South Kensington Museum [more].

5.  Lamont
Thomas Reynolds Lamont (1826-1898), genre painter and watercolourist [more].

6.  Moore
Possibly Albert Joseph Moore (1841-1893), painter [more]. However, T. R. Lamont was the Godfather of a Christopher Moore, and so the reference to 'Moore' may be to this family instead.

7.  Caird
Ellen Caird, friend of Mrs F. Leyland, possibly a sister of Sir James Caird. She may have been posing for Portrait of Miss Caird (YMSM 162).

8.  John
John Cossins, JW's valet [more].

9.  Edens
Possibly Lady Sybil Frances Eden (1867-1945), née Grey [more] and Sir William Eden (1849-1915), painter and collector [more].

10.  Freddie and the girls
The Leyland children: Frederick Dawson Leyland (b. 1856), son of F. R. Leyland [more]; Fanny Leyland (1857-1880), later Mrs Stevenson-Hamilton [more]; Florence Leyland (1859-1921), later Mrs Prinsep [more]; Elinor Leyland (1861-1952), later Mrs Speed [more].