Many young girls have enjoyed the Nancy Drew mystery stories over the years. The series began in early 1930 when Edward Stratemeyer created the Nancy Drew character. Under the pseudonym Caroline Keene, several authors over the years contributed to the stories.
An author of 150 books, Stratemeyer started The Stratemeyer Syndicate in 1906. He created a number of juvenile series such as The Hardy Boys, Tom Swift, and The Bobbsey Twins. During one period, the Syndicate handled twenty-two different series.
After Stratemeyer died in May 1930, his two daughters Edna and Harriet controlled the Syndicate. During the early years, Edna developed ten Nancy Drew plot lines, the stories written by other authors. In 1953, Harriet began writing the series contributing twenty-four stories.
When the Nancy Drew series began, Nancy was an affluent sixteen-year-old who had already finished high school. She was highly independent, gentle, and well mannered, wore stylish dresses, high heels, and pearls; her hair perfectly coifed.
Nancy lived with her father, Carson Drew. They had a servant by the name of Hannah Gruen, whose role changed over the course of the series. Nancy was ten when her mother died. In later revisions, she was three at the time of her mother’s death.
Nancy’s main girlfriends were her cousin Bess and the tomboyish George. Helen Corning was also in many of the stories. Ned Nickerson was a close friend and later depicted as her boyfriend.
In 1959, Helen Stratemeyer Adams and others began updating prior books. The project lasted twenty-five years, with some plots completely rewritten, the language updated, and racial stereotypes deleted.
The first four Nancy Drew movies were made in 1938 and 1939. Forty years later, a television series was developed. In 1996, the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries aired. Emma Roberts was the lead in a movie version in 2007.
In 1987, Simon & Schuster developed The Nancy Drew Files for an older teenage audience. Later, The Nancy Drew Notebooks was created with eight-year-old Nancy in the third grade.
There are currently over 350 volumes of Nancy Drew Mysteries in print. Unfortunately, Edward Stratemeyer never lived to see the success of his famous teenage sleuth.
You can buy Nancy Drew mysteries at Amazon.com