The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Paris, Cour d'appel de
Record 3 of 12

System Number: 04719
Date: [11 October 1897][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Rosalind Birnie Philip[2]
Place: Paris
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler P359
Document Type: ALS[3]

Garlants Hotel

Now my dear Major I shall probably come over quite suddenly at the end of the week -

Probably leaving by friday night or Saturday morning - So I want you to have ready for me all the bits, writings, cuttings etc. that [p. 2] refer to the Eden[4] case, as I wired to you this morning - French articles - together with my Interview in the "Journal" if you can come upon it -

Also especially to try and find all about George Moore[5] and the duel - especially the official letters of Mirebeau[6] [sic] & Griffin[7] as seconds - and their further letter that was published in the Independence Belge in which they said that Mr Moore is disqualified in all that concerns a gentleman . . .

I shall be in an awful hurry I suppose!

I may tell you that I have two capital letters to take to Beurdeley[8] - one from Webb[9] - a propos of the Baronets affair with John Swann[10] - & the the [sic] other from "wee Thomson[11]" in which [he] tells in detail the story of Sir Williams refusal to take 250. for the picture[12]!! -

I had better let this go as it is I think for it is [sic] late -

With the pleasantest things to you all

The General.

This document is protected by copyright.


'OCT. 12 1897'

Mademoiselle Birnie-Philip
aux soins de
Monsieur McNeill Whistler
110. Rue du Bac.
France -
[postmark:] CONTINENTAL NIGHT MAIL / OC 11 [97]
[postmark on verso:] 9 PARIS 9 / DISTRIBUTION / 1E 12 / OCT / 97


1.  11 October 1897
Dated from the postmark. The date of receipt was added in an unknown hand on the envelope.

2.  Rosalind Birnie Philip
Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more]. JW called her 'Major' and himself 'General'.

3.  ALS
The stationery has a deep mourning border.

4.  Eden
Sir William Eden (1849-1915), painter and collector [more]. On 4 March 1895 Eden brought an action against JW for not handing over the portrait of his wife, Brown and Gold: Portrait of Lady Eden (YMSM 408). JW was not satisfied with the manner and amount of payment for it. Judgement went against JW. JW's appeal was heard in Paris in December 1897, the original judgement was reversed and he was allowed to keep the picture. It is now in the Hunterian Art Gallery. In Paris on 13 May 1899 JW published his account of the Eden case: Whistler, James McNeill, Eden versus Whistler: The Baronet and the Butterfly. A Valentine with a Verdict, Paris and New York, 1899 [GM, A.24].

5.  George Moore
George Moore (1852-1933), novelist and art critic [more]. JW had challenged Moore to a duel, and Moore refused the challenge.

6.  Mirebeau
Octave Mirbeau (1848-1917), novelist, art critic and amateur painter [more].

7.  Griffin
Francis Vielé-Griffin (1863/1864-1937), poet [more].

8.  Beurdeley
Paul Beurdeley (1842-after 1902), advocate at the Cour d'Appel, Paris [more].

9.  Webb
William Webb (b. ca 1851), of G. and W. Webb, lawyer [more].

10.  John Swann
John Macallan Swan (1847-1908), animal painter and sculptor [more], who painted a portrait of Eden's daughter. Eden did not like the picture and wished to sell it.

11.  wee Thomson
David Croal Thomson (1855-1930), art dealer [more].

12.  picture
Brown and Gold: Portrait of Lady Eden (YMSM 408).