Wilson writes to a member of the Society of American Magicians. "I began practicing magic in my boyhood when I came upon a copy of Hoffman's Modern Magic. Later I learned new tricks from time to time from other books on the subject & from amateur & professional magicians. I still amuse myself with magic. I also have a magician in my play The Crime in the Whistler Room (Five Plays, Farrar, Straus Co...." He signs, "Edmund Wilson." With holograph envelope.
Wilson refers to "Modern Magic" by Professor Hoffman, the pseudonym for Angelo Lewis, an attorney, born in London in 1839. Wilson mentions the magician character in one of his three experimental dramas, “The Crime in the Whistler Room,” “A Winter in Beech Street,” and “Beppo and Beth,” all considered satiric portraits of American life. Wilson was the managing editor of “Vanity Fair” in 1920 and 1921, later served as Associate Editor of “The New Republic,” and as a book reviewer for “The New Yorker.” Wilson's critical works helped foster public appreciation for novelists Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Vladimir Nabokov.