The real mystery about Nancy Drew is coming to light

September 02, 1993|By Newsday

This is important: Who were the ghost writers for Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys and the Bobbsey Twins?

The generation of readers who grew up with these popular young-people's books finally may have an answer, and it's inside one of the 150 boxes donated recently by Paramount Publishing to the New York Public Library.

The boxes contain 100 years' worth of children's book publishing history -- the first manuscripts for Nancy Drew, letters, sales records, and yes, the identities of many of the true authors of the series and their payments.

The collection, called "The Stratemeyer Syndicate Records," chronicles the rise of Edward Stratemeyer, the force behind numerous serial stories and dime novels.

Anne Greenberg, executive editor of Archway Paperbacks and Minstrel Books, which publish modern editions of the juvenile classics, has seen the contents of some of the boxes: a 1905 book, "The Young Book Agent, or Frank Hardy's Road to Success," that Stratemeyer wrote for Horatio Alger, original art used for book covers, manuscripts and the first Nancy Drew manuscript, written by an Iowa doctor's daughter.

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