The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Mr Whistler's Etchings, The Fine Art Society, London, 1883
Record 16 of 54

System Number: 10973
Date: [11/15 February 1883][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Elisabeth Lewis[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Bodleian Library, University of Oxford
Call Number: Department of Western Manuscripts, Dep. c. 838 fol. 123
Document Type: ALS


With the greatest delight - dear Mrs George - but I shall never forgive you if you are not at my Show[4] on Saturday next -

Also you must enjoy it thoroughly - without arrière pensée[5] - neither dep[r]ecation of my wickedness nor sorrow for the slain! -

[p. 2] Present my compliments to Mrs Sitwell[6] and bring her with you -

I shall send her card to your care -

Always with many thanks

[butterfly signature]

The great George[7] must really come this once in spite of all those who are kept in suspense the while!

He ought to be so proud of me!

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [11/15 February 1883]
Dated from reference to exhibition at the Fine Art Society; see below.

2.  Elisabeth Lewis
Elisabeth Lewis (1844-1931), née Eberstadt, wife of G. H. Lewis [more].

The address is printed in red.

4.  Show
JW's comments indicate that this is Mr Whistler's Etchings, The Fine Art Society, London, 1883; the private view was held on Saturday 17 February. In the catalogue, the titles of the works were accompanied by disparaging extracts from earlier reviews. This caused a stir amongst such critics as Frederick Wedmore in the Academy (reproduced in Whistler, James McNeill, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, London and New York, 1890, p. 106).

5.  arrière pensée
Fr., ulterior motive.

6.  Mrs Sitwell
Mrs Sitwell, unidentified.

7.  great George
Sir George Henry Lewis (1833-1911), society lawyer [more].