UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Star, The (London)
Record 5 of 15

System Number: 07789
Date: [24 October 1894?][1]
Author: JW
Place: [Paris]
Recipient: Editor, The Star[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 272/3/1
Document Type: AL


IWe have heard in many places, with what patience Mr. Du Maurier[3] has revised his masterpiece -

Not content with his work as it appears in Harpers Magazine, he rewrote passages, and changed characters that Trilby[4] might be worthy the aplause of England and America - But the motive of his meritorious industry is imperfectly understood - There are chapters which were revised not by the "artist", but by the possible defendant of a libel action -

Messrs. Harpers' apology[5] threw a certain light upon the situation, but the world does not yet know that Mr. Du Maurier was compelled to undergo the experience in humiliation - unique in the history of literature - of submitting his revision to the approval of another.

Before Trilby (in book form) was permitted to [p. 2] astonish the critics, Mr. Whistler was actually requested to pass certain portions of the new version.

IWe do not know what would have happened to the new Thackery[6] if Mr Whistler had witheld his consent, but the painter was gracious, and accepted the inoffensive "Antony[7]", who avoided all dangerous resemblance, by being "tall, and stout, and slightly bald".

Begged by the publishers to speed their enterprise, and wire his reply, he sent the following

"Compliments and complete approval of author's new and obscure friend "bald Antony
Whistler[8]."


This document is protected by copyright.


Notes:

1.  [24 October 1894?]
Dated from a note in another hand at the top of the sheet: '[1894, Oct 24 ?]'. This is a preliminary draft, possibly of a letter sent to Jospeh Pennell, 24 October 1894, #07791.

2.  The Star
Ernest Parke (1860-1944), Deputy Editor of The Star and proprietor of the weekly North London Press [more], wrote to Pennell on 26 October 1894 suggesting revisions to the paragraph relating to Du Maurier's 'humiliation' (#07790).

3.  Mr. Du Maurier
George Louis Palmella Busson Du Maurier (1834-1896), author and caricaturist [more]. His 'masterpiece' was Du Maurier, George, 'Trilby,' Harper's New Monthly Magazine, serialised, begun 1 January 1894; reprinted (expunged) as Trilby: A Novel, New York, 1894; regular ed., London and New York, 1895; see JW to W. Webb, 4 October [1894], #06208.

4.  Trilby
Du Maurier, George, Trilby: A Novel, New York, 1894.

5.  Messrs. Harpers' apology
See #09879.

6.  Thackery
William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863), novelist and writer on art [more].

7.  Antony
The character of the 'idle apprentice' in Trilbywas clearly, as depicted in the illustrations, JW, and was replaced by that of 'Anthony'.

8.  Whistler
See telegram sent to W. Webb, #11217.