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In one book, she takes flying lessons. And at another point, someone mentions that Ned, her ever-steadfast, never serious beau, is in Europe. If you wanted to, you could disappear into the cozy world of River Heights where all the bad things would be brought into the light and Nancy would deal with them. The plots were intentionally kept free of murder and anything too harrowing, as well as anything that might be seen as sexual—Nancy and Ned never kiss.

They were intended to be safe for children, but also functioned as an escape from the heavy realities of their cultural moment.

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The refusal to address current events made the books timeless up to a point, but it was Nancy who did the heavy lifting. This mission was shared by the Hardy Boys, another very popular Syndicate series. Is it any wonder that children devoured them? He died just twelve days after she was published for the first time, leaving his two daughters in a predicament.

Should they sell the company or run it themselves? The Depression eventually made the decision for them.


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Though several people wrote Nancy Drew books over the years, the two who wrote the most were Wirt and Harriet Adams. Both claimed to be Carolyn Keene over the years, but sometimes I wonder if both were really just claiming to be Nancy. By that time, Nancy had been in print for thirty-four years, and was still publishing new adventures. The original series, as most of us know it, ended in with The Thirteenth Pearl , after 56 entries.

Usually they begin their baby-sitting careers when they reach twelve years of age and junior high school. As a result, they frequently find themselves alone in strange houses at night, and the pleasure-pain of fright is stimulated. What we remember is Nancy: her bravery, her style, her generosity, and her relentless desire to succeed linger long after the last page has been turned, the villain sent to jail, the trusty car put into the garage.

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Even though hardly anyone can recall what, exactly, went on in The Hidden Staircase or The Whispering Statue or The Quest of the Missing Map , we know precisely what it is about Nancy that held our rapt attention for so many years. She remains as much a part of the idea of American girlhood as slumber parties, homework, and bubble gum. There was no woman who had been inspired to create a character that would capture the imagination of millions of girls, following them into womanhood.

Nancy had only been a way for people to pay their bills. Adams came from a rich and privileged family. She went to college at Wellesley, after which her father forbade her to accept a job, although she wanted to.

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She married and had four children. At 38, she took over the Syndicate, along with her sister, though she did most of the day-to-day work. Wirt was from a small town in Iowa, the daughter of the town doctor. She was a swimmer, as well as a writer, one of the first people to go through journalism school at the University of Iowa one of her professors was George Gallup, who created the Gallup Poll.

She married and had a daughter, not stopping her writing for a moment.

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Nancy has both of these women in her. She has both of their drive for excellence, their tireless work ethic. Correction: A previous version of this story stated that yellow-backed Nancy Drew editions first appeared in the s. They appeared in the s. American Guardian Security Inc. Over 40 years of total staff experience in security systems and cameras. Specializing in homes, churches and small to medium-sized businesses. Photos 1.

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