The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Godwin, Edward
Record 16 of 49

System Number: 05612
Date: 22 June 1897
Author: Arthur Haythorne Studd[1]
Place: Papeete, Tahiti
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler S258
Document Type: ALS


June 22nd 1897.

Dear Mr James

I have been putting off writing until I should reach my destination. But as I am still uncertain how long I shall be able to stay in any given place, this moment seems just as inopportune as any other to endite[2] a letter whose object should be to press you to join me in these parts.

It is very unfortunate that I am forced to be such an uncertain quantity. For if you could have made up your mind to leave your philistine antagonists to boil away in your absence & leave the scum in the bottom of the pot, you would not I feel sure be disappointed.

There are amazing things to paint[.] [p. 2] Women who walk like Goddesses - splendidly proportioned youths sitting in the moonlight, crowned with garlands where palms wave in the background like huge black plumes against the sky: or struggling, naked, two or three abreast with great cases of oranges to carry them down into the water by the light of a bonfire: Boats laden with fruit & adorned with flowers - We have had beautiful cloudy weather ever since my arrival a month ago & the day would be for you full of sea pieces and the night of nocturnes.

Here too you would still be under the government of the only nation you consider enlightened - [p. 3] Though I dont

At Papeete you can take a house & have your meals at a restaurant but in other parts of the island which I have found more interesting you have to rough it to a certain extent. I expect to be here at least two months more & I wish I could say deffinitely [sic] six - after that my brother & I go to Samoa via Auckland.

It would be very delightful to have a letter from you & to hear if the Little White Girl[3] had taken any more medals - I think the safest address would be 2 Hyde Park Gardens (to be forwarded[)] -

[p. 4] Please give very affectionate messages from me to Whibley[4] & Bunny[5][,] Miss B Linda[6] & Teddy[7]. Tell Whibley I havent forgotten him though I havent yet written. His introductions have been most helpful.

With very much affection to yourself Cher Maitre,
yours cordially

Arthur Studd.

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1.  Arthur Haythorne Studd
Arthur ('Peter') Haythorne Studd (1863-1919), painter and collector [more].

2.  endite
An archaic form of the verb 'indite,' to utter, suggest, or inspire a form of words (OED).

3.  Little White Girl
Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl (YMSM 52) was owned by Studd.

4.  Whibley
Charles Whibley (1859-1930), writer and journalist [more].

5.  Bunny
Ethel Whibley (1861-1920), née Philip, JW's sister-in-law [more].

6.  Miss B Linda
Presumably a nickname for Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more].

7.  Teddy
Edward Godwin (b. 1876), son of Beatrix and E. W. Godwin; JW's step-son [more].