The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Greaves, Elizabeth
Record 6 of 8

System Number: 09094
Date: [February/June 1878?[1]]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Elizabeth Greaves[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: [unknown][3]
Document Type: ALS

[butterfly signature]

Dear Mrs Greaves -

The show[4] has been fearfully afire - and it has taken all this time to put it out! Have you not felt the heat of the flames at that end of the Row[5]? and can you forgive

Yours Ever sincerely

J A McN. Whistler

I shall come and see you all soon again -

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  February/June 1878?
The reference to the 'Row', suggests the letter was written from 2 Lindsey Row between February 1868 and the summer of 1876 (when it was renamed Cheyne Walk) but JW lived there until June 1878, when he left the 'Row' for the White House in Tite Street. The suggestion that JW's affairs were too pressing to permit him to visit implies a date of 1876 to 1878. The concept of the 'show' being on fire occurs in a drawing from JW to C. A. Howell dated 5 February 1878 (Howell and Whistler leaving the show on fire (M.673), in a letter to Howell dated [May/September 1878] (#02176), and one from Maud Franklin to G. A. Lucas on 5 May 1879 (#09200).

2.  Elizabeth Greaves
The recipient was almost certainly Elizabeth Greaves (1810-1900), née Greenaway, wife of C. W. Greaves [more].

3.  [unknown]
The letter has not been traced, but was sold at auction, Sothebys, London, November 1968.

4.  show
JW meant business and financial affairs rather than an exhibition.

5.  Row
JW moved to 2 Lindsey Row (renamed 96 Cheyne Walk in 1876) in February 1868. The large Greaves family lived at 103 and 104 Cheyne Walk, and their boats used the piers opposite the house.