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The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Record 33 of 67

System Number: 11557
Date: 22 January 1895
Author: John Chandler Bancroft[1]
Place: Boston
Recipient: George du Maurier[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York
Call Number: MA 4452
Document Type: ALS


61 Mt Vernon St
Boston

Jan 22nd 1895

My dear Du Maurier

The malady is becoming chronic in my family. I only wrote a line to tell you that Wilder[3], my right hand & main-stay, the prop of of [sic] my declining years, has taken the first steps towards my premature superannuation by engaging himself to be married & pro- [p. 2] posing to marry (say in June) Miss Katharine Bott[4], whom we shall meet for the first time & welcome the day after tomorrow. If he has but shown his usual good-judgement & sense we hope to be much pleased with our daughter in law. Unfortunately Harvard University does not seem ready to give him a permanent [p. 3] position & I fear that he will have his roof a long way from us -

I am delighted to hear that story No 3[5] is rumbling in your brain. Everybody else will say the same. Trilby[6] seems in some special way to have hit the American mind in all its varieties = I cant quite clearly make out all the elements of it. But there is one at least that I am [p. 4] sure you did not count upon in the writing of it: to wit, the apotheosis of the reformed sinning woman, or rather erring sisters is the usual phrase. The moral & morality of Trilby especially in the west is discussed in clubs, & sewing circles, debating societies (mainly feminine) &c &c, ad infinitum - When you visit us you will be met on the dock by endless committees of ladies, asking you to address their societies on this delicate [p. 5] (2) subject - I had more to say of equally trivial value, but a brass band with an F clarinet half a note sharp has just settled itself under the window & a wise man under such condition bottles up his wisdom for future use -

Many kind regards to you all

Ever yours

J C Bancroft


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Notes:

1.  John Chandler Bancroft
John Chandler Bancroft (1822-1907), politician, diplomat and collector [more].

2.  George du Maurier
George Louis Palmella Busson Du Maurier (1834-1896), author and caricaturist [more].

3.  Wilder
Wilder D. Bancroft (b. ca 1868), son of Harriet B. and J. C. Bancroft.

4.  Miss Katharine Bott
Katharine Bott, fiancée of Wilder D. Bancroft, son of J. C. Bancroft.

5.  story No 3
Du Maurier's third and final novel, The Martian, began serial publication in Harper's New Monthly Magazine, vol. 93, issue 557 (October, 1896).

6.  Trilby
Du Maurier, George, 'Trilby,' Harper's New Monthly Magazine, serialised, begun 1 January 1894; reprinted (expunged) as Trilby: A Novel, New York, 1894; regular ed., London and New York, 1895.