The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: 104th Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts, Royal Academy, London, 1872
Record 7 of 17

System Number: 02369
Date: [June 1872/July 1875][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Elfrida Elizabeth Ionides[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler I109
Document Type: TLc[3]

2 Lindsey Houses,

Dear Mrs Ionides,

Please thank Mrs Eden[4] for remembrance of me and say how sorry I am that I cannot accept her kind invitation to dinner. I am engaged both Friday and Saturday though heaven knows how I shall keep my engagements! My work does run me in so shockingly now.

I am sorry not to be with you all at this dinner, for I liked the Edens and Lowndes Square[5] they tell me can be got at by land and with an even chance of punctuality for a nice hour like half past seven! It is my grief to believe that Doctor George[6] and myself are not on speaking terms. Of course if he goes over to the enemy I shall try not to think harshly of him, but to look upon him as the backer of the Academy[7] lot would I am sure sour my disposition which you all know is as yet, in spite of much thunders "unturned". Fancy though my meeting the Doctor George arm in arm with Haden[8] along the Row this season ! and consequently my being reduced to the slummy parts of town. You must intercede and make it up between us.

The mother[9] is much better and sends love and messages.

With kind regards
Ever Yours sincerely

J. A. McN. Whistler.

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1.  [June 1872/July 1875]
JW lived in 2 Lindsey Row from February 1867 to June 1878. However, occasional letters between August 1871 and October 1876 were written as from 'Lindsey Houses'. The letter clearly dates from before August 1875 when JW's mother moved to Hastings for her health. JW's reference to the Royal Academy suggests a date after 1872, when Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter's Mother (YMSM 101) was initially rejected by the R. A. and only admitted after the intervention of William Boxall (1800-1879), portrait painter, Director of the National Gallery [more]. It was the last picture shown by JW at the R. A.

2.  Elfrida Elizabeth Ionides
Elfrida Elizabeth Ionides (1848-1929), née Bird, wife of Luke A. Ionides [more].

3.  TLc
'3a' written in another hand in top left-hand corner of sheet, in red crayon.

4.  Mrs Eden
Fanny Helen Eden (m. 1870), wife of Frederick M. Eden [more].

5.  Lowndes Square
The Edens lived at 7 Seville St, Lowndes Square.

6.  Doctor George

7.  Academy
That is, the Royal Academy.

8.  Haden
Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more]. They quarrelled in 1867, and were never reconciled.

9.  mother
Anna Matilda Whistler (1804-1881), née McNeill, JW's mother [more].