The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: book, Eden v Whistler
Record 6 of 17

System Number: 08434
Date: 23 September 1898
Author: David Croal Thomson[1]
Place: London
Recipient: William Heinemann[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC
Document Type: ALd


N. W.

September 23. 1898


Dear Mr Heinemann

Mr Whistler has been showing me some of the pages in his new book "The Baronet and the Butterfly"[3] and I understand that my name will appear several times.

I therefore write a private note to you to say that I hope you will kindly see [p. 2] that nothing is said which will prove injurious to my interests.

I well know that nothing could be further from Mr Whistler's wish than to hurt me in any way, but at the same time, it might happen that quite inadvertantly he might say something which would be serious for me.

If it were possible for you to allow me to run through the proofs, I should be very glad to do so.

I trust you will not misunderstand me in writing [p. 3] this note, for I know too that you while enjoying the fun would not like in any way to wound a staunch friend supporter of our friend the great artist

With kind regards
Yours very truly

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  David Croal Thomson
David Croal Thomson (1855-1930), art dealer [more].

2.  William Heinemann
William Heinemann (1863-1920), publisher [more].

3.  'The Baronet and the Butterfly'
This relates to the publication of the publication of Whistler, James McNeill, Eden versus Whistler: The Baronet and the Butterfly. A Valentine with a Verdict, Paris and New York, 1899 [GM, A.24]. The book contained JW's account of his quarrel with Sir William Eden over the completion of Brown and Gold: Portrait of Lady Eden (YMSM 408), a portrait of Eden's wife. Eden instituted legal proceedings against him in 1894 but the case was not resolved until December 1897. Thomson was involved in the early stages of the affair. It was Thomson to whom Eden first wrote in May 1893 to enquire what JW would charge for a portrait. Thomson became further involved the following year when Eden approached him to sell a portrait (not by JW) of his daughter. Thomson offered £200, subsequently increasing his offer to £250. JW got to hear of this and used the information in his appeal case in December 1897, hence Thomson's nervousness in this letter. See also Heinemann's reply, 24 September 1898, #08430 and Thomson to JW, 24 September 1898, #08433.