Fiction

The fast-moving world of finance has captured the imagination of generations of authors and readers alike. Perhaps the best evidence for this phenomenon is the wealth of fictional works with financial themes that have permeated the literary market over the years. Our exhibit includes novels about financial dealings in everything from Coffee to Lard and from gold to coal. Only a few of the authors represented here may be recognized by today's reader, but these authors and their works nevertheless did as much to shape the popular opinion of Wall Street as did history itself.

 

Brady, Cyrus Townsend. The Corner in Coffee. New York: Dillingham, 1904.

The story of an unlikely marriage between a society belle and a Central American civil engineer. In order to win the love of his lady, the hero determines to match his fortune to his love's own by way of a daring speculative move. First edition, hardbound with illustrations by Gordon H. Grant.

Chester, George Randolph. Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford: A Cheerful Account of the Rise and Fall of an American Business Buccaneer. New York: A. L. Burt, 1908.

The story of a charismatic entrepreneur determined to "get there--no matter what" until his shady wheelings and dealings lead him into a snag. Fist edition, hardbound with four illustrations.

Chester, George Randolph. Wallingford in His Prime. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1913.

This book follows the affable J. Rufus Wallingford through a series of lighthearted swindlings which often take advantage of the vanity of their victim. First edition, hardbound.

Erdman, Paul E. The Crash of '79. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1976.

A novel about a successful banker and financial genius who is selected to manage the profits of certian Saudi Arabian oil lords. Once he accepts the position, he begins to realize the precarious nature of finance and politics in the global economy. First edition, hardbound with dust jacket and decorative end papers.

Garris, Howard R. The Young Reporter and the Bank Mystery. New York: Sully, 1912.

A "boys' story" of a young reporter, Larry Dexter, who is asked to solve a million-dollar bank robbery case. A big surprise waits for him when he tracks down the man he thinks has the money. First edition, hardbound with illustrations.

Hudson, William Cadwaladar J.P. Dunbar. New York: Dodge, 1906.

The story of a clever financier's attempts to gain control of the valuable, but poorly managed, Universal Supply Company. First edition, hardbound with embossed cover design.

Isham, Frederick S. Black Friday. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1904.

A sentimental romance novel involving a corner in the gold market. First edition, hardbound with illustrations by Harrison Fisher.

Lawson, Thomas W. Friday the Thirteenth. New York: Doubleday, Page & Co., 1907.

A Wall Street morality tale about one man's obsession with avenging the actions of the market "bears" who once endangered the fortune of the woman he loves. By casting himself in the role of the agent of justice, however, our financier protagonist does more harm than good. First edition, hardbound with colored frontispiece by Sigismond de Ivanowski.

Lefevre, Edwin. The Golden Flood. New York: McClure, Phillips, 1905.

When an ambitious young man appears to have found a method of manufacturing gold, the country's most important financiers fear that an oversupply of the commodity will wreak financial havoc such as the world has never seen. First edition, hardbound with gilt cover design.

Lefevre, Edwin. The Plunderers. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1916.

Four loosely-joined stories about a syndicate of professional thieves who aim to recover, by a series of intricately planned schemes, some of the plunder amassed by Wall Street's richest men. Hardbound, illustrated.

Lefevre, Edwin. Sampson Rock of Wall Street. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1907.

The story of two generations of Wall Street financiers and their attempt to gain control of a poorly managed railroad by way of a stock market coup. Hardbound, first edition, illustrated. Hardbound first edition, with gilt cover design.

Lefevre, Edwin. Wall Street Stories. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1916.

Eight tales of the habits and customs of Wall Street. Some are thinly-vailed portraits of well-known Wall Street characters such as James R. Keene and Daniel Drew. Reprinted edition, hardbound with dust jacket.

McCutcheon, George Barr, Brewster's Millions. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1902.

A young man stands to inherit a huge fortune from his uncle, but in order to secure his inheritance, he must comply with a bizarre proviso in the will--he must be absolutely penniless on a given day. This is the story of young Brewster's efforts to spend himself into poverty, only to find that he may not receive his legacy after all. First edition, hardbound with illustrations.

Munsey, Frank. The Boy Broker: or, Among the Kings of Wall Street. New York: Munsey, 1888.

A "boys' story" intended to give "a true idea of life in a great city," while instilling a valuable moral lesson. "So much nonsense of a misleading character has been written about benevolent old gentlemen who help poor boys from the country," writes the author, "that I have sought to turn the light of fact on the subject and picture a little real life." First edition, hardbound, with 38 illustrations.

Norris, Frank. A Deal In Wheat: And Other Stories of the New and Old West. New York: Doubleday, Page, 1906.

A posthumous collection of ten short stories, including two of the supernatural. The story for which the collection is named was later developed into Norris' novel The Pit. Reprinted edition, hardbound with illustrations by Frederick Remington and others.

Norris, Frank. The Octopus: A Story of California. New York: P.F. Collier & Son, 1910.

The first of Norris's stories comprising "The Epic of the Wheat." Of the three individual novels, the first (The Octopus) concerns the production, the second (The Pit) the distribution, and the third (the unfinished novel, The Wolf) the consumption f American wheat. Specifically, The Octopus "deals with the war between the wheat grower and the Railroad Trust." Hardbound edition with illustrations.

Norris, Frank. The Pit. New York: Wessels, 1906.

The second installment of Noris's "The Epic of the Wheat" trilogy concerns one man's obsession with controlling the price of wheat on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The main character, Curtis Jadwin, is fashioned upon Joseph Leiter who, in 1897, also tried unsuccessfully to "corner" the wheat market. Hardbound edition with black and white printing on green cloth.

Payne, Willaim. On Fortune's Road. Chicago: A.C. McClurg, 1902.

Eight stories about morality, business, and the tough choices that need to be made when these two entities clash. First edition, hardbound "with eight full-page drawings by Thomas Fogarty."

Smith, William Hawley. The Promoters. New York: Rand, MacNally & Company, 1904.

A story about two forward-thinking businessmen who plan to "move the world" and thereby create untold possibilities in the real estate business, if only they can publisize the move adequately. First edition, hardbound with illustrations.

Sinclair, Upton. King Coal. [Pasadena, CA]: published by the author, 1921.

A novel with a social message regarding the plight of coal miners in the early 20th century. Hardbound reprinted edition.

Sinclair, Upton. Oil! New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1927.

A muckraking expose of the evils within the oil industry. Hardbound, eighth printing.

Vartan, Vartanig G. 50 Wall Street. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1968.

This novel concerns the ruthless efforts of three men who are fighting for partnership in a distinguished brokerage house. Second printing, hardbound with dust jacket. Inscribed by the author: "To my parents Best friends with best wishes, Vartanig G. Vartan."

Webster, Henry Kitchell. The Banker and the Bear: The Story of a Corner in Lard. New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1900.

The story of a respectable old banker's son and his bid for control of his father's bank. When loans to a speculator-friend are endangered by the devaluing effects a "bear raid," his leadership in the family bank is imperiled . Hardbound, first edition.

Webster, Henry Kitchell. Roger Drake: Captain of Industry. New York: MacMillan, 1902.

The story of two commercial giants who strike it rich mining ore in the West. In conflict from their first meeting, they continue to struggle against the world and each other for financial superiority. Hardbound, first edition, illustrated.

Wilson, Sloan. The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1955.

The title of this book suggests the uncertain, work-a-day existence of many men who served during World War II and now lead comfortable lives working in New York and residing in the suburbs. "Today," reads the dust jacket of this book, "many men wear the gray flannel suit and wonder whether this uniform provides as secure a life as the one they had when they were wearing O.D." Fifth printing, hardbound with dust jacket.

 

                                                                                                             

Last Updated: 1/3/12