Friday, September 16, 2005

Girl Sleuth

Heather Lee Schroeder has written a nice article for Madison's The Capital Times about Melanie Rehak and her new book Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her. (There's another nice interview of Rehak on the Harcourt Brace site.)

Rehak shows in her book how Nancy was adapted by various authors to the times--more adventurous in the 1930s, more domesticated in the 50s, etc. Rehak discusses her research process and how she learned much about Nancy's creators from the archives. Rehak explains,

"Mildred Wirt Benson and Harriet Stratemeyer Adams, didn't always see eye to eye, but they loved their character and their work. The two women were alike in many ways, but they also came from different generations, Rehak explains, and that made conflict between them inevitable. Benson was tough-minded and independent, while Adams came from a generation of women who believed in sisterhood and bonding. Rehak believes Nancy Drew fans ultimately gained from her creators' sometimes stormy relationship; the girl detective became a little of each woman, thereby strengthening her overall appeal."