Historical Fiction

Will the Real Carolyn Keene Please Stand Up

If you didn’t already know, Carolyn Keene, of the famous Nancy Drew mystery series, is not a real person. Neither is the Hardy Boys’ Franklin Dixon or Laura Lee Hope of the Bobbsey Twins. They are all the brain child of one of the country’s most prolific writers for children and young adults to date: Edward Stratemeyer. Edward was so prolific, in fact, that he had to eventually hire ghostwriters to help him flush out his story ideas, which was not an issue until a series he created just before his death became a cult classic.

Will the Real Carolyn Keene Please Stand Up tells of the lives of the three primary creators of the Nancy mystery series and how the plucky, intelligent, resourceful, and famous girl sleuth came to life, along with the controversy that still rages on about who really created the Nancy that millions of readers across the globe have come to know and love.

Behind the Story

Interestingly, I didn't read Nancy Drew when I was growing up. I didn't read much at all, in fact. I didn't start reading Nancy until my own daughter started taking them out of the library - all 56 of them the original ones!

I'm not sure when I found out that there was a contriversy behind the creator of Nancy Drew, but once I found out, I wanted to know more.

I ended up talking to Cynthia Lum, the great granddaughter of the original creator of Nancy (and the Hardy Boys, the Bobbsey Twins, Tom Swift and many many more) - Edward Stratemeyer.

There were actually 27 writers of the original Nancy stories, the first - and some think the true creator of Nancy - was Mildred Benson Wirt. 

There were actually 27 writers of the original Nancy stories, the first - and some think the true creator of Nancy - was Mildred Benson Wirt. 

Cynthia feels that her grandmother, the uncomparable Harriet Stratemeyer-Adams, was the creator of Nancy. Harriet and her sister took over running Edward's company - The Syndicate - just before the first 3 Nancy books were published in 1930. Harriet was the final editor for the remainder of the Nancy stories and even wrote one herself (as did Cynthia Lum!).

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