Who is Carolyn Keene? Little-Known Facts About the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories

The mystery stories of Nancy Drew are one of the finest examples of a successful book series in the history of America. Publisher Edward Stratemeyer created the fictional character in 1930, in the midst of the Great Depression. Sadly, he passed away just two weeks later but Nancy Drew was already making history. The character was unlike anyone girls had read about before. She was smart, brave, adventurous and independent. Librarians and teachers tried to keep the books from reaching young girls, but they were hooked. Stratemeyer’s daughter Harriet kept the series alive, and today over 80 million copies have been sold. Here’s what you don’t know about Nancy Drew, the amateur sleuth and the writers behind the beloved series.

Changes Were Made to Modernize the Stories

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Instagram / thecalicobooks

It was back in 1930 when the Nancy Drew series was first published. Times have changed dramatically since then so editors decided to make the writing reflect modern times. Some of the changes include changing Nancy’s age from 16 to 18, to reflect the legal driving age, as well as changing her car from a blue roadster to the hipper, blue convertible.

When the series began, Nancy’s hair was described as blonde, which changed to strawberry blonde then different shades in between. While these edits varied throughout the series of books, the characteristics of spunk and adventure in Nancy remained consistent.