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cheri
cheri

Liked: The Secret Syndicate behind Nancy Drew 📚

If you remember your grade-school reading log, the Nancy Drew mysteries are by Carolyn Keene. Only she never existed.

macgenie
macgenie

@cheri As a girl, I loved ND and remember finding out that the author wasn't really the name on the cover. Loss of a little bit of innocence.

rosemaryorchard
rosemaryorchard

@cheri This is very similar to Lucy Daniels - admittedly the latter being a newer "author" (group of authors). I always wanted to write books like Lucy Daniels and was actually quite excited when I found out there were lots of authors behind the books - though I never followed up on that dream! 😏

pratik
pratik

@macgenie Franklin W Dixon wasn’t the author of the Hardy Boys either.

artkavanagh
artkavanagh

@pratik @cheri @macgenie @rosemaryorchard As a kid/early teen, I got this exactly the wrong way around. I surmised that Carolyn Keene and Franklin W Dixon were the same person, a single individual, not that each of them was "legion". It was something about the style, I think.

artkavanagh
artkavanagh

@pratik @cheri @macgenie @rosemaryorchard While I have fond memories of devouring the Hardy Boys books by the dozen, on reflection, I don't think I can have read all that many. I certainly didn't discover them before the age of 8 or 9 and I lost interest after 12 or 13. So, four years. And I was limited by what the library had in stock. I'm sure I never actually owned any copies, as I did with Biggles and the Malcolm Saville books. And some of the Enid Blyton series.

vasta
vasta

@cheri WHOA. I had no idea!

cheri
cheri

@rosemaryorchard Interesting! I know that some modern romance writers take a similar approach. They pay ghost writers to produce books, and the authors package and market them under a name.

Lioncourt
Lioncourt

@cheri That was a great article. I knew bits and pieces of it, but not all. I can’t even begin to count how many Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books I read between the ages of 6 and 10.

pratik
pratik

@artkavanagh Well, I grew up in India with limited access to books. But we did have Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and the Enid Blyton series (Famous Five, Secret Seven, Mystery series, and Adventure series). Some I owned via used books store.

smokey
smokey

@artkavanagh @pratik @cheri @macgenie @rosemaryorchard I thought that Keene and Dixon were probably brother and sister.

smokey
smokey

@vasta I wish I could have seen your face when you read that ;-)

smokey
smokey

@macgenie @cheri @Lioncourt But the actual (back)story turns out to have been so interesting. I read a much longer article about this a few years ago that got into the nitty-gritty of the feuding, editing and rewriting of the series (there were some distinct linguistic shifts sometimes that even a kid could pick up on, i.e. there’s one Bobbsey Twins book where the kids inexplicably refer to their parents as “Mother Bobbsey“ and “Father Bobbsey”).

I have fond memories of being introduced to the Bobbsey Twins and Nancy Drew during a visit to my maternal grandparents’ and going down in their basement and choosing another BT or ND (five girls, so no Hardy Boys) book off of the shelf every day or so during our visits, reading the same books my mom and my aunts did growing up. Also, memories of finishing up the three series—within the limits of the library collection—by picking books from the shelves in the old library in the old house just off the square in our town.

vasta
vasta

@smokey I was so shocked I immediately texted my wife, "Did you know that Nancy Drew wasn't written by someone named Carolyn Keene?" and her response was a curt, "of course." Guess I'm just behind the news. :)

In reply to
rosemaryorchard
rosemaryorchard

@smokey If you find that article I'd love to read it!

grayareas
grayareas

@cheri Fun thread. I knew this at one point in my life but had forgotten.

smokey
smokey

@rosemaryorchard I will poke around and keep my eyes open, but it’s probably been too long for me to find it :-(

smokey
smokey

@vasta Heh. I didn’t know until (I think) earlier this year when I read the other article, so you are not so far behind :-)