Thursday, June 7, 2007

A Blast from the Way Past

I had a great time reading this book. Look at that cover—isn’t it appealing?

A blast from just the past would have been for me to re-read the ’60s editions (and even the older ones of my mother’s) of the Nancy Drews I used to love. But Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women who Created Her starts way back with Edward Stratemeyer, who started the publishing company that created not only the Nancy Drew series, but also the Bobbsey Twins and the Hardy Boys, among other series.

Melanie Rehak weaves several stories together: Stratemeyer’s life, the lives of his daughters, the life of Mildred Wirt Benson, who wrote many of the Nancy Drew books as Carolyn Keene (as well as books in other series), the evolution of the publishing industry, and the story of Nancy Drew, who was modernized (kicking and screaming), politically corrected, and dumbed down through the years.

It made me want to go back and read The Secret of the Old Clock again. When I do, I’ll let you know whether it was entertaining or depressing.

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