The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Godwin, Edward
Record 2 of 49

System Number: 00256
Date: [21 October 1886?][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: James Davis[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler B31
Document Type: ALS


I have just read the disgraceful paragraphs in your paper about the death of Godwin[3] -

Though knowing you but slightly, I have hitherto not supposed you a malignant coward - and therefore am unwilling to believe that you are really responsable [sic] for the wretched insinuations that, now that he is no longer here to defend himself, attempt to tarnish the memory of an Artist of [p. 2] the calibre, a man of the distinction of Godwin -

But I should like to hear from you that I am right in supposing that you who have spoken to me with the apparent frankness of an honest man, and whose hand I have shaken, could not possibly have meanly thrown the miserable mud to bespatter the unprotected "widow and pretty boy[4]" mentioned in your columns as all who are left to suffer from the slander -

J McNeill Whistler

James Davis Esq -

I repeat I cannot believe that this brutal outrage can have emmanated [sic] from yourself and am therefore awaiting your reply

Sincerely Yours as before


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1.  [21 October 1886?]
Dated by Davis's reply to JW, 22 October 1886 (#00257).

2.  James Davis
James Davis (1853-1907), dramatic author and journalist ('Owen Hall'), editor and proprietor of The Bat [more].

3.  Godwin
Edward William Godwin (1833-1886), architect and designer [more].

4.  widow and pretty boy
Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more] (the newly widowed Mrs Godwin), and Edward Godwin (b. 1876), son of Beatrix and E. W. Godwin; JW's step-son [more].