Posts Tagged With: Fer-De-Lance

Fer-de-Lance printing errors

S.G. Wolfram AKA May Hawthorne has pointed out a rather glaring printing error, that seems to run through the entire Bantam line of Fer-de-Lance printings on the Wolfe Email List. Problem is around the middle of Chapter 5. Page and line number information for selected printings can be found in the email reproduced below.

Thanks for pointing this out May!

Incorrect line is:
That started an argument inside a golf club so that when the inset on the face anyhow, X proceeded to use the club for its calculated purpose, putting it in Barstow’s bag ( it had of course been made identical in appearance with Barstow’s own driver).

Correct line is as follows:
That started an argument, and perhaps Maffei agreed to go on the next boat; anyway X proceeded to use the club for its calculated purpose, putting it in Barstow’s bag ( it had of course been made identical in appearance with Barstow’s own driver).

Below is the pertinent information from the emails. Top section is what I just sent about the printings I have.

————————-
Just checked the five different printings I have and two are correct (both Pyramid) and three are wrong (all Bantam).

Pyramid Edition Third printing July 1968 (page 43 starting on line 8), and Eleventh printing November 1976 (page 43 starting on line 8), are both correct.

Bantam Edition First printing March 1983 (page 41 starting on line 26) , and as you have previously stated, the 50th Edition, though I have a Second printing November 1984 (page 41 starting on line 26), and the Bantam Crime Line Edition Ninth printing sometime after February 1992 (page 59 starting on line 10) all have the printing error.

Looks like Bantam needed a better proof reader…

Thanks for pointing this error out!
Dave
AKA Albert Freyer

On Fri, Sep 5, 2008 at 10:57 AM, S.G. Wolfram
wrote:
> I have discovered that Bantam has perpetuated an old, rather major typo, in
> the new two-in-one edition. Chapter 5, page 59, about the tenth line down,
> it has,
>
> That started an argument inside a golf club so that when the
> inset on the face anyhow, X preceeded to use the club for its
> calculated purpose, putting it in Barstow’s bag. . . ”
>
> A line from earlier on has been dropped into the text here.
>
> My 50th anniversary edition from 1984 has the same error (page 41, middle of
> the second paragraph). In nearly 25 years Bantam can’t find this and correct
> it for its attractive new edition? Anyway, fortunately I still have this
> from our 2003 discussion of FDL:
>
>> My 1983 Bantam edition has the same flaws but my 1934 Junior Book Club
>> edition reads:
>>
>> “…Maffei decided not to go back home after all. That started an
>> argument, and perhaps Maffei agreed to go on the next boat; anyway X
>> proceeded to use the club…”
>>
>> Book club editions do have some value! LOL
>>
>> Celia Grantham
>>
> —
> May Hawthorne–SGW in Denver

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Fer-de-Lance – 50th Anniversary Edition paperback – 2nd printing, November 1984

Cat came in from shopping with this beautiful paperback today. THANKS Cat!

Always love getting a new Wolfe cover, but especially a special one like this! Will get back and add text asap, just gonna get the cover up for now.

Fer-de-Lance – 50th Anniversary Edition paperback

2nd printing, November 1984

A Bantam Book – published by arrangement with the author

PRINTING HISTORY
Farrar & Rinehart edition published 1934
Bantam edition published March 1983
Second Printing – November 1984

Copyright, 1934, 1962 by Rex Stout

Rear Cover Text:

Nero Wolfe’s very first recorded case!
Fer-de-Lance
A discarded newspaper, a young engineers mysterious disappearance, and the death of a college president induce the great detective to wager $1O,OOO with the district attorney – and help a young daughter prove her mother was no murderess.

Step into the unassuming Thirty-fifth Street brownstone. and join in the astounding exploits of Nero Wolfe. ,Marvel at his daily beer consumption, his unsurpassed appetite, the incredible expanse of his yellow silk pajamas. Bear witness to his unwavering, often infuriating addiction to fine foods, good books, beautiful orchids and custom-made chairs. Empathize with his confidential assistant, Archie Goodwin, archetypal private eye and man of action, whose primary function is prodding his immense employer into motion. See for yourself why, through a hundred million copies and seventy-two cases, the adventures of America’s largest private detective and his extended family continue to captivate and enthrall readers around the world. Discover Nero Wolfe – the greatest detective of them all.

This special 5Oth Anniversary Edition of Fer-de-Lance contains a 16-page retrospective of Nero Wolfe’s career by noted Rex Stout scholar John McAleer.

Inside Cover Text:

Praise for Nero Wolfe…

“It is always a treat to read a Nero Wolfe mystery. The man has entered our folklore; he is part of the psyche of anybody who has ever turned over the pages of a mystery novel. Like Sherlock Holmes… he looms larger than life and, in some ways, is much more satisfactory.”
– The New York Times Book Review

“The most interesting great detective of them all.”
– Kingsley Amis, author of Lucky Jim

“The worst thorn in the flesh I know of.”
– Inspector L. T. Cramer, Manhattan South

“Nero Wolfe is one of the master creations.”
– James M. Cain, author of The Postman Always Rings Twice

“(Wolfe)…is the best of them all.”
– Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes

“My favorite fatty.”
-Archie Goodwin

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Picture of Wolfe killing a snake

I received this from someone on the Wolfe List and have no idea who or when. A very bad memory and far too many hard drive failures make for orphaned files. I would like to know who sent it and what it is from. For now here it is:

Picture of Wolfe killing a snake

Picture of Wolfe killing a snake

Click on image for full size.

Update: Still no idea who sent it but this from Tina aka Peephole:

Hi Dave,

Just noticed the “FdL” query on your fine site. I wasn’t the one who sent you the scan, but I’m familiar with it, so I can give you the info:

The scan is from the November 1934 issue of the American Magazine, where the first NW story made its first appearance, under the title “Point of Death,” which became “Fer-de-Lance” when it was published in book form. The artwork was done by Fred Ludekens, who may have also done other NW magazine illustrations — I’m out of town and away from my stuff, so I can’t check.

Cheers, and keep up the good work,

Tina (who recently Unsubscribed from the Wolfe List, where she was Peephole)

Thanks Tina!

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Fer-De-Lance – November 1976

Fer-De-Lance - Novermber 1976 - front cover
Fer-De-Lance - November 1976 - back cover

Pyramid Mystery

11th Printing November 1976

Rear Cover:

THE WORLD FAMOUS FIRST NERO WOLFE MYSTERY
“THE BEST”
– SATURDAY REVIEW OF LITERATURE

A Is for Archie…

Goodwin, that is. I’m the tough, quick-witted leg man for an extraordinary, irascible, immovable, obese, orchid-fancying genius detective named Nero Wolfe. Wolfe and I never look for trouble, but from the cases we get involved in, you’d never believe it. This one I call —

Very Venomous

It all began when a dark-eyed Italian miss tried to charm Wolfe into finding her missing brother, only to discover it took more than charm to trigger Wolfe’s genius – at least a thousand dollars more. But that was a pittance compared to what was to come. When the brother turned up dead the case took on another, much wealthier corpse – a present from a monstrously ingenious murderer. Solution of the crime would fatten Wolfe’s bank account, put his detective prowess to the ultimate test, and place the entirety of his enormous person in the most dangerous position of his career!

DON’T MISS THESE OTHER THRILLING MYSTERIES BY REX STOUT
THE BROKEN VASE V4065 $1.25
BLACK ORCHIDS V4027 $1.25
A PYRAMID BOOK
Printed in U.S.A

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September Morn

Fer-De-Lance – Bantam paperback – 1983 printing – beginning of chapter 3 – pages 17-18

Fritz slept up above, across the hall from the plant rooms; my room was on the second floor, the same floor as Wolfe’s, a fair-sized room in front with its own bath and a pair of windows.

… further down the page where Archie is describing his pictures …

Also there was a colored one called September Morn, of a young woman apparently with no clothes on and her hair hanging down in front, but that was in the bathroom.

September Morning

September Morn


In the above picture I don’t see hair hanging down in front of anything, so I wonder if Rex Stout had actually seen this painting or if he was going by hearsay or some newspaper report about it. Anyone have any information about this? Just curious.

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The REAL Tom Green – Nero Wolfe – Fer De Lance

*** Update 4/14/2008 – Site appears to be down.


The REAL Tom Green – Nero Wolfe – Fer De Lance

A somewhat unfinished page on Fer-De-Lance. Includes Cast of characters.

Again, well worth a look. Hope he continues.

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Fer-De-Lance – March 1983

Fer-De-Lance - March 1983 - front cover
Fer-De-Lance - March 1983 - back cover

Not real crazy about this cover. The spikes or nails in the snakes mouth are a bit much…

Bantam Edition Printed March 1983

Cover Art by Bill Cadge.

Rear cover text:

The imperturbable genius of daring deduction is Nero Wolfe. With the help of his trusted assistant, Archie Goodwin, the orchid-growing gourmet must discover the truth behind a golfer’s violent demise. Why was the victim included in the ill-fated foursome? And what secrets are the remaining threesome trying to conceal? The case hooks and slices in every conceivable direction, and Wolfe must be careful to stay out of the traps. If he doesn’t the threesome may soon be a twosome … and murder will be par for the course.

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Nero Wolfe’s Office

The sketch and description below are taken from the Bantam Crime Line Edition of Fer-De-Lance Published in 1992. According to the book: These items are from Rex’s archives and have never been published before.

Wolfe's Office sketch by Rex Stout

Description of Nero Wolfe’s Office

Confidential Memo From Rex Stout, September 15, 1949

The old brownstone on West 35th Street is a double width house. Entering
at the front door, which it’s 7 steps up from the sidewalk, you are facing
the length of a wide carpeted hall. At the right is an enormous coat rack,
eight feet wide, then the stairs, and beyond the stairs the door to the
dining room. There were originally two rooms on that side of the hall,
but Wolfe had the partition removed and turned it into a dining room forty
feet long, with a table large enough for six (but extensible) square in
the middle. It (and all other rooms) are carpeted; Wolfe hates bare floors.
At the far end of the big hall are two doors; the first one is to what
Archie calls the front room, and the second is to the office. The front
room is used chiefly as an anteroom: Nero and Archie do no living there.
It is rather small, and the furniture is a random mixture without any special
character.

The office is large and nearly square. In the far corner to the left
(as you enter from the hall) a small rectangle has been walled off to make
a place for a john and a washbowl — to save steps for Wolfe. The door
leading to it faces you and around the corner, along its other wall, is
a wide and well cushioned couch.

In furnishings the room has no apparent unity but it has plenty of character.
Wolfe permits nothing to be in it that he doesn’t enjoy looking at, and
that has been the only criterion for admission. The globe is three feet
in diameter. Wolfe’s chair was made by Meyer of cardato. His desk is of
cherry, which of course clashes with the cardato, but Wolfe likes it. The
couch is upholstered in bright yellow material which has to go to the cleaners
every three months. The carpet was woven in Montenegro in the early nineteenth
century and has been extensively patched. The only wall decorations are
three pictures: a Manet, a copy of a Corregio, and a genuine Leonardo sketch.
The chairs are all shapes, colors, materials, and sizes. The total effect
makes you blink with bewilderment at the first visit, but if you had Archie’s
job and lived there you would probably learn to like it.

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Nero Wolfe’s Office

The sketch and description below are taken from the Bantam Crime Line Edition of Fer-De-Lance Published in 1992. According to the book: These items are from Rex’s archives and have never been published before.

Nero Wolfe's Office

Nero Wolfe's Office

Description of Nero Wolfe’s Office

Confidential Memo From Rex Stout, September 15, 1949

The old brownstone on West 35th Street is a double width house. Entering
at the front door, which it’s 7 steps up from the sidewalk, you are facing
the length of a wide carpeted hall. At the right is an enormous coat rack,
eight feet wide, then the stairs, and beyond the stairs the door to the
dining room. There were originally two rooms on that side of the hall,
but Wolfe had the partition removed and turned it into a dining room forty
feet long, with a table large enough for six (but extensible) square in
the middle. It (and all other rooms) are carpeted; Wolfe hates bare floors.
At the far end of the big hall are two doors; the first one is to what
Archie calls the front room, and the second is to the office. The front
room is used chiefly as an anteroom: Nero and Archie do no living there.
It is rather small, and the furniture is a random mixture without any special
character.

The office is large and nearly square. In the far corner to the left
(as you enter from the hall) a small rectangle has been walled off to make
a place for a john and a washbowl — to save steps for Wolfe. The door
leading to it faces you and around the corner, along its other wall, is
a wide and well cushioned couch.

In furnishings the room has no apparent unity but it has plenty of character.
Wolfe permits nothing to be in it that he doesn’t enjoy looking at, and
that has been the only criterion for admission. The globe is three feet
in diameter. Wolfe’s chair was made by Meyer of cardato. His desk is of
cherry, which of course clashes with the cardato, but Wolfe likes it. The
couch is upholstered in bright yellow material which has to go to the cleaners
every three months. The carpet was woven in Montenegro in the early nineteenth
century and has been extensively patched. The only wall decorations are
three pictures: a Manet, a copy of a Corregio, and a genuine Leonardo sketch.
The chairs are all shapes, colors, materials, and sizes. The total effect
makes you blink with bewilderment at the first visit, but if you had Archie’s
job and lived there you would probably learn to like it.

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NERO WOLFE of West Thirty-Fifth Street – Excert concerning Fer-De-Lance

The following is an excerpt from NERO WOLFE of West Thirty-Fifth Street by William S. Baring-Gould concerning FER-DE-LANCE.

On the afternoon of Sunday, June 4, 1933, Peter Oliver Barstow, fifty-eight-year-old president of Holland University, was playing golf on the links of the Green Meadow Club near Pleasantville, thirty miles north of New York City. The round was a foursome, Barstow playing with his son, Lawrence, his neighbor, E. D. Kimball the grain broker, and Kimball’s son, Manuel.

As Barstow swung at the ball on his first drive, he uttered a little exclamation, with a startled look on his face, and began rubbing his belly. The others asked him what was wrong, and he said something about
a wasp or a hornet and started to open his shirt. His son looked inside at the skin and saw a tiny puncture, almost invisible. Barstow insisted it was nothing, but thirty minutes later, on the fairway of the fourth hole, he suddenly collapsed on the ground, kicking and clutching the grass. He was still alive when his caddy seized his arm, but by the time the others reached him he was dead.

So began the first recorded adventure of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin: the case Archie called Fer-de-Lance. Wolfe was drawn into the case on Wednesday, June 7; he concluded it successfully just two weeks later, on Wednesday, June 21.

Information taken from NERO WOLFE of West Thirty-Fifth Street by William S. Baring-Gould, page 95 of Bantam paperback edition published February 1970

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