The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Layard, George Somes
Record 4 of 4

System Number: 02494
Date: 25 December 1898
Author: George Somes Layard[1]
Place: Malvern
Recipient: JW
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler L31
Document Type: ALS

[crown and star emblem]


Decr. 25. 1898.

Dear Sir

I wrote to you two or three weeks ago under cover of Mr Heinemann[2] not knowing your address, and think that possibly my letter was not successful in reaching you. I notice that your new book[3] is, after all, to be published in Paris. May I ask you to be good enough to [p. 2] instruct the publishers to let me have a copy as soon as it is published as I should like to add at once your new testament to the old one (The Gentle art of making Enemies[4]) which is a very favorite Sunday reading with me.

I do not of course imagine that you forgive your Enemies, but, at any rate you are adept at manufacturing what [p. 3] material for future forgiveness, which is something in the right direction. And this is edifying to me.

My object in writing however is primarily to ask whether in your forthcoming work you deal with the 'Trilby' incident at all, and, whether or not, if you have any objection to my reproducing Mr Dumaurier's[5] drawing of 'The Two Apprentices' [p. 4] and the letterpress accompanying, in my excursus[6], now in part appearing in the Pall Mall Magazine on 'Suppressed Plates, Woodcuts &c' Ancient and Modern. The episode I shall of course have to deal with to make my series of historical cancelled illustrations complete, but I should esteem it a great privilege if I had your consent or rather 'no objection' to the use of the 'cut' and the ipsissima verba[7] of the libel. I am[8], sir, one of the 'rare few' who appreciates your 'pathetic papers' of their true value.

G. S. Layard

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  George Somes Layard
George Somes Layard (1857-1935), journalist at the Pall Mall Gazette [more]. See also Layard's previous letter dated 15 November 1898, #02493.

2.  Mr Heinemann
William Heinemann (1863-1920), publisher [more].

3.  new book
Whistler, James McNeill, Eden versus Whistler: The Baronet and the Butterfly. A Valentine with a Verdict, Paris and New York, 1899 [GM, A.24]. In 1894, JW quarrelled with Sir William Eden (1849-1915), painter and collector [more], over the completion of Brown and Gold: Portrait of Lady Eden (YMSM 408), a portrait of Eden's wife. Eden instituted legal proceedings against him in 1894 but the case was not resolved until several years later.

4.  The Gentle art of making Enemies
Whistler, James McNeill, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, London and New York, 1890; and Whistler, James McNeill, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, 2nd ed., London and New York, 1892.

5.  Mr Dumaurier's
George Louis Palmella Busson Du Maurier (1834-1896), author and caricaturist [more] author of Du Maurier, George, Trilby: A Novel, New York, 1894, a story of bohemian life in Paris. When Trilby was first published in serial parts in Harper's Magazine in March 1894, JW objected to Du Maurier's portrayal of himself in the character of Joe Sibley, the 'Idle Apprentice' and quarrelled publicly with him. Harper's later apologised and Du Maurier toned down the references to JW.

6.  excursus
A literary digression in which an incidental point is discussed in detail (often in the form of an appendix).

7.  ipsissima verba
Lat., the identical words.

8.  libel. I am...Layard
Written in the left-hand margin of p. 1, at right angles to the main text.