The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Record 5 of 8

System Number: 09589
Date: [August 1886][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Editor[2], Court and Society Review
Place: [London]
Repository: Whistler House, Lowell, MA
Call Number: Acc. No. 1989.81.2
Document Type: ALS

Entre conspirateurs[3] doubt is more disturbing than disaster! -

I send you these "brown paper" antecedents[4], trusting you may trace something like method in the madness of which I am sure you have, since yesterday's talk, more than a dark suspicion -

With apologies for the trouble I inflict,
Always devotedly

[butterfly signature]

Kindly send me back [p. 2] the Ruskin pamphlet[5] - the "Notes, Harmonies, Nocturnes[6]" and the 'Ten O'clock[7]', when you two gentlemen have read them -

Please don't let the Ten O'clock go at all into other hands -

The Catalogue of 'Etchings[8] & Dry Points' I beg Mr Robinson[9] to accept because of what we were saying the other day of "ce scelerat d'Habakuk[10]"!

My brother[11] says that five copies of this weeks Court & Society[12], and five of the number with the letter from "One who knows" may be sent to him at Homburg, and put down to his account -

This is his address
19. Kisseleff Strasse

Also could you send me by bearer the proof of the doctors letter[13] - and his own letter? I promised that I would ask for it -

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [August 1886]
Dated by form of words (see #07436 for a preliminary version of this letter).

2.  Editor
The tone suggests that this could have been written to a friend or colleague in art or publishing, such as Marcus Bourne Huish (1843 - d.1921), barrister, writer and art dealer, Director of the Fine Art Society [more] or Henry Du Pré Labouchère (1831-1912), journalist and Liberal MP [more].

3.  Entre conspirateurs
Fr., between conspirators.

4.  brown paper antecedents
JW published several pamphlets and catalogues bound in brown paper.

5.  Ruskin pamphlet
Whistler, James McNeill, Whistler v. Ruskin: Art and Art Critics, London, 1878.

6.  Notes, Harmonies, Nocturnes
Exhibition catalogue, 'Notes' - 'Harmonies' - 'Nocturnes', Messrs Dowdeswell, London, 1884.

7.  Ten O'clock
Whistler, James McNeill, Mr. Whistler's 'Ten O'Clock.', London, 1885.

8.  Etchings
Exhibition catalogue, Mr Whistler's Etchings, The Fine Art Society, London, 1883.

9.  Mr Robinson
Philip Stewart Robinson (1847-1902), journalist, naturalist and author [more].

10.  ce scelerat d'Habakuk
Fr., this rascal Habakuk: JW used a similar phrase in a letter to H. Labouchère, 21 August 1886 (#09184).

11.  brother
William McNeill Whistler (1836-1900), physician, JW's brother [more].

12.  Society
Correspondence in the Court and Society Review, which started with Salaman, Malcolm C., 'Hail President Whistler,' The Court and Society Review, 10 June 1886; and included Stott, William, 'Whistler and His Critics,' The Court and Society Review, vol. 3, no. 108, 29 July 1886, p. 678; see Getscher, Robert H., and Paul G. Marks, James McNeill Whistler and John Singer Sargent. Two Annotated Bibliographies, New York and London, 1986, J. 116, 118.

13.  doctors letter
This suggests that W. McN. Whistler wrote one of the letters supporting JW, such as #11361.