“WALL STREET STORIES IS NOW OUT OF PRINT BUT THEN SO ARE MOST OF MY BOOKS. YOU WILL HAVE TO GET A SECOND HAND DEALER TO ADVERTISE FOR THEM”: LEFÈVRE’S WALL STREET STORIES, WITH A TYPED SIGNED LETTER BY LEFÈVRE
LEFÈVRE, Edwin. Wall Street Stories. New York: McClure, Phillips, 1901. Octavo, original red cloth. $1500.
First edition, third printing, presentation copy, of this collection of short stories inspired by real events on Wall Street, with a tipped-in typed letter addressed to one of Lefèvre’s old schoolmates recalling mutual friends, speaking briefly of Lefèvre’s books, and inviting further correspondence, signed by Edwin Lefèvre.
“Eight tales of the habits and customs of Wall Street. Some are thinly-veiled portraits of well-known Wall Street characters such as James R. Keene and Daniel Drew” (Hess Collection). Tipped onto the front pastedown of this copy of Wall Street Stories is a typed letter signed by the author, Edwin Lefèvre. Dated “April 23 ’32,” it reads: “Dear Felix: Yes, I remember you very well. You were the one boy who had been in Europe, I think. and you came from Chicago. I may get these things mixed but I remember you. Esterly I don’t remember but Waterworth I do. I am sorry I didn’t know he was with the Cadillac people as I know Larry Fisher the President very well and I often go the shops when I am in Detroit. Paul Bagley, alias Jonah, died a few months ago. Joss I saw and he did me out of a few dollars. Panhandling. Fred Smith who was ’86 and Seager also ’86 both before your time I see often. I’ll ask Chadbourn the next time I see him. I doubt if he was at the M.M.A because he is much younger than I and he wouldn’t be if he had been there Look in Who’s Who. If you find he is let me know. The woman and Her Bonds is in my collection “Wall Street Stories” now out of print but then so are most of my books. You will have to get a second hand dealer to advertise for them. My Stock Operator and Stock Broker books may be had from Doubleday Doran & Co. But don’t let sentiment make you spend money on a friends books. It was very pleasant to hear from you. That is about the chief reward of writing. It makes your schoolmates write you and I am at the time of life when I live at least 40% in the past. Thanks for your letter. It meant a heap to me. If I am ever in Chicago I shall let you know. I am here writing. I have an apartment to which I retire and grind out the articles you are good enough to say you like. Write me whenever you feel like it. My address is The Century Club, 7 W. 43rd Street, New York City. Of course the Saturday Evening Post always knows where I am. The Club address I send in case you come East. Yours sincerely, (signed) Edwin Lefèvre. And I think you had a coin collection didn’t you?” A mining engineer turned journalist, Edwin Lefèvre was known for his close attention to the major players on Wall Street. His books, Reminiscences of a Stockbroker and The Making of a Stockbroker in particular, have become stock market classics, much sought after for their literary merit, their insight into Wall Street history, and the financial observations they contain. The first story in Wall Street Stories and mentioned in this letter, “The Lady and Her Bonds,” was the basis for Lefèvre’s later novel, Sampson Rock of Wall Street. These stories originally appeared in McClure’s Magazine during 1900. This third printing was published the same year as the first edition.
Book very good, with rear inner paper hinge expertly repaired, a bit of soiling and dampstaining to cloth, light wear to spine ends, gilt bright. Letter fine.