The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Johnson, Robert Underwood
Record 2 of 4

System Number: 08193
Date: [1 December 1897][1]
Author: Joseph Pennell[2]
Place: London
Recipient: Robert Underwood Johnson[3]
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC
Document Type: ALS


31st November

My Dear Johnson -

I hope the article[4] had been copied[.] I showed it to Whistler, and he carried it off, and Ive never seen it since. I dont think he liked it, on the whole. He said he would write you. He is now in Paris, and tomorrow judgement will be given in his case against Sir William [p. 2] Eden[5].

Have you got our Swiss article[6] yet? Mrs Pennell[7] has told you that we are awfully glad about the French review



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1.  [1 December 1897]
Year dated from the reference to the Eden v. Whistler (see below). As Pennell wrote the date as '31st November' it is likely that he was in fact writing on December 1st and that he had forgotten that November contains but 30 days.

2.  Joseph Pennell
Joseph Pennell (1860-1926), printer and illustrator, JW's biographer [more].

3.  article
This was not published in the Century, but eventually appeared in the Chapbook: Kobbé, Gustave, 'Whistler at West Point,' The Chap Book, VIII, no. 11, 15 April 1898, pp. 439-42 [GM, K.23] (see #02437).

4.  Robert Underwood Johnson
Robert Underwood Johnson (1853-1937), poet, writer, diplomat, associate editor of Century Magazine (Scribner's) [more].

5.  Sir William Eden
Sir William Eden (1849-1915), painter and collector [more], who had an ongoing dispute with JW over the possession of Brown and Gold: Portrait of Lady Eden (YMSM 408). Eden instituted legal proceedings in 1894; on 2 December 1897 judgement went in JW's favour, and he was allowed to keep the painting. See Whistler, James McNeill, Eden versus Whistler: The Baronet and the Butterfly. A Valentine with a Verdict, Paris and New York, 1899 [GM, A.24].

6.  Swiss article
It is possible that Pennell was referring to an article related to the book he had recently jointly authored with Charles Heckethorn, The printers of Basle in the XV and XVI centuries; their biographies, printed books and devices, published by Unwin Bros in 1897. An article by Elizabeth Robins Pennell, 'Over the Alps on a Bicycle', appeared in the Century in April 1898 (pp. 837-52).

7.  Mrs Pennell
Elizabeth Robins Pennell (1855-1936), née Robins, JW's biographer [more].