The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: press, journalist
Record 26 of 50

System Number: 00626
Date: [December 1890][1]
Author: JW
Place: [Paris]
Recipient: Theodore Child[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler C127
Document Type: ALdS

'Letter - Child'[3]
re photographing Peacock Room'

Mon cher

I know that the journalist is ubiquitous - and I should have remembered that possibly you might have frequented this befrilled Philistine[4] - this Criminal of Commerce - as Victor Hugo[5] did the condamnés à mort[6] - as studies, au point[7] de vue de l'art! -

I have been indiscreet, and have thrust upon you confidences anent the burglarious Photographer that I must entreat you to forget! -

Send me a line tomorrow telling me that your memory in this matter is a blank! - that it is as though I had not spoken, and we will start afresh - without [p. 2] the Peacock Room[8]! -

I am glad though that you have the run of Leyland's[9] House the shipbroker's house, for as you dine sit at the table, for [you] can see your host on the wall! - and it is not every one who has the may have the fury joy of dining on dining on roast Peacock[10] any day he likes!! -

C'est entendu[11] then - we will have a charming talk over the whole plan when you come back, and n'est ce pas? -

Mean Until then the best of Bons voyages to you - and may if you find a warm Country somewhere tell me that I may go there! -


[butterfly signature]

Louis Huth's[12] town address is 28 Hereford Street Grosv
May Fair.

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  December 1890
This letter relates to an article published by Child in December 1890 (Child, Theodore, 'A Pre-Raphaelite Mansion', Harper's New Monthly Magazine, vol. 82, December 1890, pp. 81-99, at p. 81; see #09265, a more finished copy of the letter).

2.  Theodore Child
Theodore Child (1846-1892), journalist and art critic [more].

3.  'Letter - Child'
Note written in the upper left corner by Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more].

4.  befrilled Philistine
Frederick Richards Leyland (1832-1892), ship-owner and art collector [more], who liked to wear frilled shirts.

5.  Victor Hugo
Victor Marie Hugo (1802-1885), poet, novelist and dramatist [more], as a peer of France was entitled to check on conditions in prison. In August 1847 he visited the prison for the condemned. Paul Maurice published memoirs of Hugo in 1887, including this story.

6.  condamnés à mort
Fr., those condemned to death. Victor Hugo wrote a novel called Dernier jour d'un condamné à mort in which he took a position against the death sentence.

7.  au point...
Fr., from an artistic point of view.

8.  Peacock Room
Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room (YMSM 178).

9.  Leyland's
Frederick Richards Leyland (1832-1892), ship-owner and art collector [more].

10.  Peacock
A friend of Child, Lord Redesdale, noted 'To Theodore Child, invited to dine at the Leylands, Whistler wrote that he would have the rare pleasure of feasting on Roast Peacock' (Redesdale to the Pennells, 27 November 1906, quoted in Pennell, Joseph, and Elizabeth Robins Pennell, The Joseph and Elizabeth Robins Pennell Collection of Whistleriana Shown in Division of Prints, Library of Congress, Southwest Pavilion, Washington, G.P.O. Library Branch, 1921, p. 109).

11.  C'est entendu
Fr., that's agreed.

12.  Louis Huth's
Louis Huth (1821-1905), collector [more].