UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Document associated with: UKThe Toft
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System Number: 13778
Date: [November 1880?][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Lewis Page Jarvis[2]
Place: Sharnbrook
Repository: Private Collection
Document Type: PL[3]


Dear Jarvis

You see I have drifted into this miserable hole[4] after all! - I felt my destiny coming upon me all along and struggled against it - but what will you! - It rains & rains and there is nowhere else - and I am like the Frenchman who furious at having 'bifteck[5]' for breakfast on three successsive days at home, went off to the Cafe Riche - and ordered what! - why 'bifteck' again to be sure - It was his destiny too.

Meanwhile I am thinking of the charming little dinner last night, and of the pleasant evening afterwards - though I fancy I owe Mrs. Jarvis[6] an apology for bringing late hours into her house!

And I am remembering also the famous Burgundy and groan, while they were getting me ready some damned tough cutlet of the place to be flanked by a bottle of very doubtful 'Beaune[7]'? - for I am writing you this line to thank you for my delightful visit in the country, while they are preparing their dismal food for me down stairs - Also I want to enclose this note from Alexander[8] I found waiting for me -

With kindest regards to Mrs. Jarvis

Very sincerely Yours,

J. McN. Whistler.

I shall write again about the colours[9].

28 Wimpole Street,
Cavendish Square


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Notes:

1.  [November 1880?]
Dated by address. JW had recently arrived back from Venice.

2.  Lewis Page Jarvis
Lewis Page Jarvis (1845-1900), brewer and collector [more].

3.  PL
Published in Houfe, Simon, 'Whistler in the Country: His Unrecorded Friendship with Lewis Jarvis,' Apollo, vol. 98, no. 140, October 1973, pp. 282-285, pp. 284-85.

4.  hole
JW was staying in Wimpole Street with his brother William (William McNeill Whistler (1836-1900), physician, JW's brother [more]), but he may mean London in general.

5.  bifteck
Fr., beef steak.

6.  Beaune
Town in the Côte d'Or, France, which produces mainly red wines from the pinot noir grape, considered by some to be the wine capital of the Burgundy region.

7.  Mrs. Jarvis
Ada Maud Jarvis (1850-1919), née Vesey Dawson [more].

8.  Alexander
Possibly John White Alexander (1856-1915), portrait painter and decorator [more], who JW had met in Venice in 1880.

9.  colours
JW spent a weekend at the Jarvis's seventeenth-century mansion home, The Toft, Sharnbrook, in November 1880, decorating the drawing room with a frieze of gold and green (see Houfe, 1973, op. cit.).