The first several Nancy Drew reprints have introductions by women writers telling of Nancy Drew's influence. I don't believe you see the same phenomenon with the Hardy Boys mysteries, leading me to believe that Nancy Drew is a more iconic figure for women than the Hardy Boys are for men.
|originally published in 1938 and|
revised in 1969, The Twisted Claw
was the only Hardy Boys mystery
the young Passing Tramp owned
My sister, on the other hand, had some dozen or so Nancy Drews, all of which she read. I remember as a kid being fascinated with one of them, The Hidden Staircase. What young kid isn't fascinated by secret passages in old houses! My mother's very old home in Gratz, Pennsylvania had a sort of concealed staircase, which no doubt added to the book's appeal for me.
It was not until the Applewood editions began to appear when I was in graduate school that I learned that beginning in 1959 the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books had been heavily revised: shortened, modernized, simplified in language and shorn of racially insensitive material.
Naturally that set me off to get the facsimile editions, for I love Golden Age mysteries, as all of us here know! I was especially spurred to get them when I found out the Hardy Boys series was specifically inspired by the huge success in the 1920s of S. S. Van Dine's Philo Vance detective novels.
Did you read these books when you were young (er)? Did you read the original editions or the revised ones? Did they get you interested in reading adult mystery fiction? What were your favorite titles? Do you think the originals are better than the revised versions, or vice versa? Did you read both Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, or one or the other? Has Nancy Drew had more of an impact than the Hardy Boys? It would be great to hear from you in the comments!