The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Jay, Mrs Louis
Record 2 of 6

System Number: 10679
Date: [15/30 March] 1895[1]
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: Mrs Jay[2]
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 2/11/1
Document Type: MsLc

Hotel Chatham Paris


My dear Mrs. Jay

Pray forgive my tardy answer to your kind and charming invitation for next Thursday. But I have been, as I daresay you can well imagine, overwhelmed with business of all kinds, and most uncertain in all my movements -

You know how pleased I should be to dine with you all - but my wife[3] is still with her sister[4] in England - which accounts for my miserable existence in this hotel!

I expect her back tomorrow or the next day, but I fear she is not yet strong enough to go out at night. Therefore I cannot venture to promise for either of us -

I trust however to give you good news of her when she returns - though you must not keep your list of guests incomplete because of us, this time.

With kindest regards to you both,
Believe me, dear Mrs. Jay,
Very sincerely yours,

J. McN. Whistler

You will have seen that I have "appealed" - and I fancy there may appear an interview in "Le Journal[5]" tomorrow morning - Mr Jay[6] must get it on the chance - I think you will all be interested in it - If he likes it he might send it on to Duez[7] - .

Some of the English papers are beginning to understand the case, I believe, much better than, as yet, it has been understood here. If I get any good report of it[8] from London, I will send it on.

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [15/30 March] 1895
Dated by the reference to the case of Eden v Whistler, which ended on 13 March 1895.

2.  Mrs Jay
Mrs Louis Jay, a social acquaintance of JW [more].

3.  my wife
Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more].

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

5.  Le Journal

6.  Mr Jay
Jay, a friend of Jules Stewart, involved in organising an exhibition in Antwerp [more].

7.  Duez
Ernest-Ange Duez (1843-1896), painter [more].

8.  any good report of it
Sir William Eden (1849-1915), painter and collector [more], brought an action against JW for not handing over Brown and Gold: Portrait of Lady Eden (YMSM 408). The Eden v Whistler trial opened at the Civil Tribunal on 26 February 1895. The verdict went against JW, but subsequent appeals reversed the decision. JW published his account of the affair in Whistler, James McNeill, Eden versus Whistler: The Baronet and the Butterfly. A Valentine with a Verdict, Paris and New York, 1899 [GM, A.24].