Now for the second part of my Nancy Drew posts (I really couldn’t dedicate only one blog post to her…I mean, come on. She’s an icon!)
Nancy Drew completes her young detective career between high school and college of her 18th year in the 1930’s (I’ve gathered the timing because 1, Carolyn Keene, aka Mildred A Wirt Benson, wrote them in the 1930’s and 1940’s, Nancy Drew refers to one friend as “had” attended high school with him, her “favorite date” Ned Nickerson is in college, and Nancy is 18, which Keene constantly refers to in every. single. one. of. her. books).
Reading Nancy Drew a second time while I’m much older, it’s amazing the problems that the editors and copy-writers missed before publication. In book 3 (I believe), Bess and George tease Nancy for flirting with a guy while Ned is in Europe. Several books later, Nancy meets Ned for the FIRST time at a house fire (romantic, right?). I find this more amusing than depressing, and I say these mistakes not to make Nancy Drew lovers upset or disillusioned, but because it fascinates me. As the daughter of an author, I’ve had the privilege of learning a freakish amount of information surrounding the publishing world, which is why I was actually stunned when I learned of all of these mistakes. In the book The Mystery of the Moss Covered Mansion, for example, they visit the Kennedy Space Center, which wasn’t built until……….1962. OMG! She was 18 in the 1930’s, but somehow she’s solving a mystery 20 something years later and she’s STILL 18? Hmmmm…. Another biggie, and the most amusing of them all: Nancy Drew completes all 56 mysteries between high school and college, even though there’s not possibly enough days to complete them, AND there are specific mentions to mysteries taking weeks to complete. She must have had a time traveling watch like Hermione!!
Still, these differences bothered me much less re-reading them, despite me being a perfectionist and a tad bit OCD, coupled with a fear of childhood memories being shattered somehow. The Nancy Drew books are really amazing books, filled with amazing characters and interesting plots, no matter what age you are.
Grosset & Dunlap published the original Nancy Drew mysteries. While the original creators switched publishers in 1979, Simon and Schuster published a 57th Nancy Drew novel, which resulted in a lawsuit that entailed that the first 56 novels would be owned by Grosset & Dunlap, and Simon and Schuster would continue to publish (I think they’re up to 175??). I actually had no idea there were more than 56 until a few weeks ago. How about you, readers? Did you read the first 56 or did you continue reading them? Personally, I read the first 56, and I feel like I would be dishonoring Carolyn Keene and the other ghost writers if I continued with the 57th, etc. (call it my feverish desire to preserve original history). Viva la Nancy Drew!
Word of the Day: Mignon- small and pretty; delicately pretty (Source: Dictionary.com) As in– “Yes, I’d like a piece of that delicately pretty piece of meat– the small one, please…yum.”
The third part of my Nancy Drew post collection will be about the novels, including their similarities and differences (like plot and plot development, how Ned always arrives at JUST the right time, etc.) I really could talk forever about Nancy Drew, and I know I’m leaving a lot out, but I’ll try to get to all of the important information! Please comment, though, if you have any Nancy Drew questions or want me to discuss a certain aspect in my next post.
Also, a personal triumph: four people have read my previous post! I’ll be honest, I really didn’t (don’t) think people would even look at my blog, since I’m still confused how people can see it anyway, and because it’s a random collection of topics. However, I really appreciate it, readers from the US and Canada!