Sunday, October 4, 2009

Today in Literary History: Edward Stratemeyer

Edward Stratemeyer black and white photograph


It's the birthday of Edward Stratemeyer, born in Elizabeth, New Jersey (1862), who created the Hardy Boys, the Bobbsey Twins, the Rover Boys, and Nancy Drew.

Rover Boys book cover

He wrote 150 books himself, and created the well-known fictional book series for juveniles including The Rover Boys (starting in 1899),


 
Tom Swift book cover

Tom Swift (starting in 1910),  

Hardy Boys book cover

 The Hardy Boys (starting in 1927),
  
Nancy Drew book cover

and, my favorite,  the Nancy Drew (starting in 1930) series, among others.

6 comments:

Diane said...

What woman does not love Nancy Drew? I hope to reread these some day. I own the 1st (2), so that would be the place to start I guess..LOL

Raspberry said...

Oh yay! Who doesn't like these books. It's always hard to remember his name though. My favorite was the spinoff of Nancy Drew books were her friends solve mysteries. And they're a little older too...hmm.
By the way. I love that you color coordinated your books. That is absolutely fabulous and such a great idea.

keeline said...

Edward Stratemeyer didn't have a middle name or initial though some sources give it in error.

Most of the books he personally wrote were issued under his own name and two pen names: "Arthur M. Winfield" and "Captain Ralph Bonehill". He had a few individual books under other names such as the first volume (only) of the Bobbsey Twins in 1904 and the first volume in the Dave Fearless series (Rival Ocean Divers) which was first serialized and later published as a book in 1905.

The rest of the Bobbsey Twins, Tom Swift and Tom Swift Jr., the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew were each products of his Stratemeyer Syndicate. Hence they are in addition to his 160 (not 150) personal book publications.

Between 1905 and 1985 the Stratemeyer Syndicate produced about 1,200 juvenile series books by creating outlines which were loaned to hired ghostwriters (often newspaper reporters). Most of the stories were written in just a few weeks and after some editing, the Syndicate sent them to the publishers who had agreed to issue the series and specific titles.

The ghostwriters were paid a sum equvalent for two months' wages as a newspaper reporter for this work. This was a lump sum payment rather than a royalty situation. Stratemeyer and his heirs received royalties from the publishers and over time they earned back the money given to the ghostwriters upon submission of the manuscript.

Some of my work on the Stratemeyer Syndicate can be seen at these links for those curious to learn more:

http://www.Keeline.com
http://www.Keeline.com/articles
http://Stratemeyer.org
http://TomSwiftAeroship.blogspot.com

Lula O said...

Great write-up! I loved The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. Boy that takes me back. Hmm..

Lezlie said...

I loved the Hardy Boys! He wrote 150 books?? Can you imagine being that creative?? How cool!

Lezlie

LindaC said...

Amanda, I loved the Bobbsey Twins when I was a little girl. Thanks for the memories! LC

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