The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: health, mental
Record 3 of 7

System Number: 05229
Date: 24 October 1878
Author: James Anderson Rose[1]
Place: London
Recipient: Walker Martineau & Co[2]
Place: London
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler R127a
Document Type: MsLc[3]


Messrs Walker Martineau & Co
Kings Road
Grays Inn W C

11 Salisbury Street Strand
London W C

24 Octr 1878

Dear Sirs,

Whistler v Ruskin

Referring to our previous correspondence in this Action with reference to Staying the proceedings in consequence of the then ill health[4] of Mr Ruskin, on which ground I consented to the Trial standing over. I beg leave now to enquire whether Mr Ruskins health is, as I trust, now restored, so that having regard to the Defendants state of health the Action may now proceed to trial.

Yours very truly

(signed) J. Anderson Rose

'Mr Anderson Rose'[5]

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  James Anderson Rose
James Anderson Rose (1819-1890), solicitor [more].

2.  Walker Martineau & Co
Solicitors for John Ruskin (1819-1900), critic, social reformer and artist [more]. This letter relates to JW's libel suit against John Ruskin (1819-1900), critic, social reformer and artist [more], in response to Ruskin's criticism of JW's works in the periodical Fors Clavigera. On 2 July 1877, he accused JW of 'flinging a pot of paint in the public's face' in a review of the I Summer Exhibition of the Grosvenor Gallery, London. See Ruskin, John, 'Letter the Seventy-ninth' Fors Clavigera, 2 July 1877, pp. 181-213. The trial took place at the Queen's Bench of the High Court on 25-26 November 1878.

3.  MsLc
This letter copy (in the hand of a clerk) was written on the reverse side of #05228.

4.  ill health
During the spring and summer of 1878, Ruskin suffered recurrent bouts of mental illness which stalled proceedings several times to bring the case to trial. Although he recovered, latterly, Ruskin became reluctant to attend the trial at all (see Merrill, Linda, A Pot of Paint: Aesthetics on Trial in 'Whistler v. Ruskin', Washington and London, 1992, pp. 95-96).

5.  'Mr Anderson Rose'
Written in the right margin, in pencil, in another hand.