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Nancy Drew Mystery Stories – The Witch Tree Symbol by Carolyn Keene Hardcover 1955
PUBLISHED BY GROSSET AND DUNLAP NEW YORK
• Photos are of THE ACTUAL BOOK
• THE PAGES TURN FREELY AND HAVE NO DOG EARRING
This is the original hardback with the blue ‘cloth’ cover with the silhouette of Nancy Drew with magnifying glass in hand. Vintage book, but very clean, minimal wear for a book over 60 years old
ISBN 0448095335 (ISBN13: 9780448095332)
Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.6 x 1.1 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
Nancy Drew is a fictional character in a mystery – amateur detective series created by publisher Edward Stratemeyer. Stratemeyer, who had created the Hardy Boys series in 1920’s noticed that the Hardy Boys books were also popular with girl readers and decided to capitalize on the girls’ interest in mysteries by featuring an amateur girl detective as the heroine. The Stratemeyer Syndicate, hired a variety of ghostwriters to write the series and the Nancy Drew franchise has lasted for more than eighty years.
The author, Carolyn Keene, is a writer pen name that was used by a number of different people over the years. Mildred Benson (aka: Mildred A. Wirt), first breathed life into the Nancy Drew character, writing the first three books. Mildred wrote 20 additional books in the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series and she has been credited with making the Nancy Drew series an instant hit.
Sisters, Edna and Harriet Stratemeyer inherited the publishing company from their father Edward Stratemeyer. Edna contributed 10 plot outlines to the Nancy Drew franchise before passing the reins to her sister Harriet. Under the reins of Harriet Stratemeyer Adams, the Nancy Drew series continued to be promoted and has been kept on store shelves for several succeeding generation of children to enjoy.
Other writers of Nancy Drew books include Harriet herself, who wrote most of the books after Mildred quit writing for the Stratemeyer Syndicate. The role of the writer, as “Carolyn Keene”, was passed temporarily to Walter Karig who wrote three books during the Great Depression. Others contributing to the Nancy Drew series include Leslie McFarlane, James Duncan Lawrence, Nancy Axelrod, Priscilla Doll, Charles Strong, Alma Sasse, Wilhelmina Rankin, George Waller Jr. and Margaret Scherf.
In 1959, under pressure from publishers Grosset & Dunlap, Harriet Stratemeyer Adams begin working with several other writers, on what became a 25-year project, to revise the earlier Nancy Drew books. The Nancy Drew books were condensed, racial stereotypes were removed, and the language was updated. In a few cases, outdated plots were completely rewritten. After Harriet Stratemeyer Adams’ death in 1982, the Stratemeyer Syndicate was later sold to Simon and Schuster,
The Nancy Drew Mystery Stories was published between 1930 and 2003. The original Nancy Drew Mystery Stories were published in a distinctive blue cloth hardcover. There were 56 books in the original series, sometimes referred to as the “classic” Nancy Drew series. Beginning in 1959, as the original series was edited and condensed, these books were re-issued in yellow picture-cover hardcover. In 1979, Simon & Schuster started releasing new Nancy Drew Mystery Stories books in paperback with picture covers and the series has grown to 175 books.
In the 1980s an older and more professional Nancy Drew was featured in a new book series, The Nancy Drew Files. This series added romance to the life of the amateur sleuth and lasted until 1997. Another book series published between 1995 and 1998, Nancy Drew on Campus, also featured a more mature and romantic Nancy Drew. In 2003, Nancy Drew Mystery Stories was ended, and a new, more contemporary series Nancy Drew (All New) Girl Detective has taken its place in the continuing Nancy Drew franchise. The Girl Detective series reached The New York Times bestseller lists with titles released in both book and graphic novel form.
The character has gained worldwide popularity and the Nancy Drew books have been translated into over 45 languages, selling over 80 million copies. Nancy Drew has also been featured in five films, two television shows, and a number of popular computer games; she also appears in a variety of merchandise sold over the world. Parker Brothers produced a “Nancy Drew Mystery Game” in 1957 with the approval of the Stratemeyer Syndicate. In 1967 Madame Alexander produced a Nancy Drew doll. Various Nancy Drew coloring, activity, and puzzle books have also been published, as has a Nancy Drew puzzle. In the 1970s, a Nancy Drew Halloween costume and a Nancy Drew lunchbox were produced as television show tie-ins.
The success of the Nancy Drew series encouraged other publishers to market many other girls’ mystery books. Now a cultural icon, Nancy Drew has been cited as a formative influence by a number of prominent women, including journalist Barbara Walters. Entertainment Weekly ranked Nancy Drew seventeenth, ahead of Batman, Atticus Finch (from To Kill a Mockingbird), and Sydney Bristow (from Alias TV show) on its list of “20 All-Time Coolest Heroes in Pop Culture”.
It has been suggested that the success of Nancy Drew lies in the character’s ability to embrace all the contradicting ideas about American womanhood (i.e. Nancy manages to be both dependent and independent, an elitist and a democrat, a child and an adult, a ‘liberated’ woman and Daddy’s little girl).