The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: marriage (JW and BW)
Record 11 of 57

System Number: 07004
Date: [9 August 1888][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: William McNeill Whistler[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W993
Document Type: ALS


My dear Willie -

It has been impossible for me to get near you or you would have had long talks with me about the wise Hurlbert[3] & the wily Mackenzie[4] - but I have for once had lots to do and now I write to tell you & Nellie[5] that the fascinating Widdie[6] and I are to be married, probably on Saturday - that is day after tomorrow - You will get a telegram some time [p. 2] during the day to let you know for certain - for we may not be able after all to get sufficiently ready until a day or two later -

However things of importance have been achieved - we have completed the dozen of silver Dutch baskets[7]! - and the beautiful chafing dishes[8] are six in number! to say nothing of the most lovely set of silver fruit knives & forks[9] - (George the Second!) so that we are quite prepared with the most distinguished table in London -

Meanwhile we have been awfully busy with every body's fêteing [sic] us and giving us dinners - and so now we feel it high time to get ready to return them! -

On Saturday, if the ceremony then comes off, you & Nellie must come down to a little breakfast - before we go off to Paris -

However you will have full particulars about Church[10] and all that tomorrow -

And now with much love
Goodnight -
Always affectionately

J McN. Whistler

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1.  [9 August 1888]
Dated from JW's marriage to Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more] which took place on 11 August 1888.

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

3.  Hurlbert
William Henry Hurlbert (1827-1895), journalist and author, editor-in-chief of the New York World from 1876-1883 [more].

4.  Mackenzie
Mackenzie, unidentified.

5.  Nellie
Helen ('Nellie') Euphrosyne Whistler (1849-1917), née Ellen Ionides, JW's sister-in-law [more].

6.  fascinating Widdie
Beatrix Whistler was formerly married to Edward William Godwin (1833-1886), architect and designer [more].

7.  Dutch baskets
These were strawberry baskets; they are mentioned in a list compiled by Beatrix and JW's son Charles Hanson (#12727).

8.  chafing dishes
A chafing dish is a vessel intended to hold fuel to heat anything placed upon it. The chafing dishes are also mentioned in #12727: '1 Chafing dish containing 6 small ones.'

9.  fruit knives & forks
These do not appear in the list (see note above).

10.  Church
The Whistlers were married at the Church of St Mary Abbots, Kensington.