Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The History of Nancy Drew

     Today I thought I would tell a bit about the history of Nancy Drew and how she was created in 1929. For several years, an author named Edward Stratemeyer had been wanting to create a mystery series of books in which a teenage girl was the hero. Back in those days, books like that were not very common. Sure, you could find plenty of mystery books and stories, but the hero in those books almost always turned out to be a boy. Edward Stratemeyer decided to try something new. In 1929, he created a children's series of books for girls (and boys too). It was a mystery series and the heroine was a sixteen year old girl named Nancy. Nancy Drew.

     Once Mr. Stratemeyer had written several plots and gotten permission from his publisher (Grosset & Dunlap) he hired Mildred A. Wirt to write the books. On April 28, 1930 the first three books were published together, as a breeder set. The series was an immediate success. Sadly, Mr. Stratemeyer never knew what a hit the books were. He was very sick and in bed with pneumonia at the time. He passed away just twelve days later, on May 10.

     When Mr. Stratemeyer died, his daughters Harriet and Edna ran his business. Mildred A. Wirt continued writing the books for a long time. The books she wrote were 1-7, 11-25, and 30. The classic series was written by a total of eight different ghost writers under the pseudonym of Carolyn Keene. One of these authors was Mr. Stratemeyer's daughter Harriet. She wrote books 31 and 33-56. She also revised the first 34 books starting in 1959 with the help of six other authors. The classic series ran from 1930 to 1979. There have been a total of twelve Nancy Drew series altogether.

     Everything I post on here is my own writing, but much of the information I found by reading dozens of books and websites dedicated to Nancy Drew. One of the best websites I found so far is by Jennifer Fisher. This website is amazing and I recommend that anyone interested in Nancy Drew read it! I hope you enjoyed what I wrote today. Next time I will be talking about the revisions of the classic series and the differences between the original and revised books!


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