The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Peacock Room
Record 11 of 79

System Number: 08058
Date: [20/31 August 1876][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Frances Leyland[2]
Place: [Liverpool]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscripts Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 2/16/11
Document Type: ALS

Dear Mrs. Leyland -

I have just come up from Hastings where I passed yesterday with the Mother[3] who sends her best love to you -

Things are very tired and exhausted - The dining room[4] however I suppose will be finished this week - It is something quite wonderful and I am extremely proud of it. As a decoration it is thoroughly new and most gorgeous though refined.

Tell Freddie[5] that I think it will be a large sum [p. 2] but even then barely pay for the work - It is very difficult to know - I have received a charming letter from Flo[6] - and will answer it - I suppose I may get off by the beginning of next week - Fancy the Bronsons[7] have just written through Rose Chapman[8] "the doctor" to say they are in Venice and have heard the rumor of my proposed journey[9] thither! - If you are not all too busy will you write me some account of your doings - and perhaps say that you have received the letter[10] I sent to you on Saturday.

With love to all believe me dear Mrs. Leyland
Very sincerely yours

J A McN Whistler

Horace has[11] not said a word about coming back. [p. 1] Tell me[12] when you are to reach Dundee -

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1.  [20/31 August 1876]
Late August 1876. Dated from references to the Leylands' dining room, JW's visit to Hastings and JW to F. Leyland, #08063 (see notes below).

2.  Frances Leyland
Frances Leyland (1836-1910), née Dawson [more].

3.  Mother
Anna Matilda Whistler (1804-1881), née McNeill, JW's mother [more]. In August 1875, Mrs Whistler settled in Hastings, Sussex for health reasons. In a letter to J. H. Gamble dated 8-9 September 1876 (#06560), she spoke of a visit from JW 'last month.'

4.  dining room
Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room (YMSM 178). JW's decorative scheme for the Leylands' dining room at 49, Prince's Gate, London.

5.  Freddie
Frederick Dawson Leyland (b. 1856), son of F. R. Leyland [more].

6.  Flo
Florence Leyland (1859-1921), later Mrs Prinsep [more].

7.  Bronsons
Katherine Coleman Bronson (1834-1901), née De Kay [more] and possibly her husband Arthur and daughter Edith.

8.  Rose Chapman
Rose Chapman, a relation of the collector Alfred Chapman of Liverpool.

9.  journey
JW had been intending to visit Venice in 1876. However, his subsequent conflict with Frederick Leyland over the cost of the Peacock Room and lawsuit against John Ruskin (1819-1900), critic, social reformer and artist [more] meant that he did not make it to Venice until September 1879.

10.  letter
Possibly another letter, in which JW told Frances Leyland that he was still working on the dining room and would not be able to depart for Venice for another ten days (see #08063).

11.  Horace has ... back
Horace Jee, musician, JW's occasional secretary [more]. Written in left-hand margin.

12.  Tell me ... Dundee
Written upside down in top right-hand corner of sheet.