Edward Stratemeyer (1862-1930)
Edward Stratemeyer (October 4, 1862 - May 10, 1930). Born in Elizabeth, New Jersey he was an American publisher and writer of books for children. He created the Hardy Boys, Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, Rover Boys, and Tom Swift series, among others.
Stratemeyer pioneered the technique of producing long-running, consistent series of books using a team of freelance authors to write standardized novels, which were published under a pen name owned by his company. Through his Stratemeyer Syndicate Stratemeyer produced short plot summaries for the novels in each series, which he sent to other writers who completed the story, writing a specified number of pages and chapters. Each book would begin with an introduction of the characters and would be interrupted at the first cliffhanger for a quick recap of all the previous books in the series.
Stratemeyer's series were also innovative in that they were intended purely as entertainment, with little of the moral lessons or educational intent found in most other popular fiction of the early twentieth century. Instead, he produced straightforward action or mystery stories centered on idealized heroes and heroines.
Stratemeyer is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, New Jersey.
Arthur M. Winfield
Strameyer used a number of pen names, including Arthur M. Winfield. He wrote his first book and submitted to a publisher under this name which he is said to have chosen partly as a joke because it is a play on words, with "Arthur" being close to "author" and "Winfield" indicating his willingness to "win" and become famous as a children's book author.
- O'Rourke, Meghan. 2004. Nancy Drew's father: the fiction factory of Edward Stratemeyer. The New Yorker. November 8:120-129.
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