Saturday, October 15, 2011

Nancy Drew Blog Party Day 15 - 1950s Nancy Drew

1950s Nancy Drew

By the 1950s, Nancy Drew had aged to eighteen - due to driving laws in the states - and she sported a fresher look--more innocent perhaps and less sophisticated. A young "June Cleaver" style as shown on the cover of The Ringmaster's Secret above with shirt dress and monogrammed handbag.

1950s Nancy was very polite and respectful of law enforcement and had an ally in River Heights Police Chief McGinnis who considered her to be as good or better as his detectives on the force!

Nancy began to rely more on her chums to help her in sleuthing and Ned to rescue her more. Ned also began to take more punches for the team so to speak like in The Secret of the Wooden Lady.

By 1957 the books began to be produced in a 20 chapter format and around 180 pages starting with #35, The Haunted Showboat. In 1959, the first revisions of the first 34 began to appear--the revisions of The Secret of the Old Clock and The Hidden Staircase.

This period began the main transition of taking the Syndicate properties in house and doing away with outside ghostwriters. After #30, The Clue of the Velvet Mask and #32 The Scarlet Slipper Mystery, the books and revisions were worked on by in house staff/partners. Velvet Mask was Mildred Wirt Benson's last Nancy Drew book.

We also had the debut in 1950 of revised cover art for books 1-9 and 11 by illustrator Bill Gillies who also illustrated books #27-29. Rudy Nappi took over at book #30.

Jenn:)

8 comments:

sequesterednooks said...

In all the times I've looked at the Ringmaster's Secret cover I don't think I ever noticed the monogram on the purse. It's a nice touch!

Rachelle21 said...

I think Ringmaster's Secret was one of my favorites because I took ballet lessons and loved to go to the circus. The one outfit reminds me of a tutu.

Jenn said...

@sequesterednooks - I didn't notice that at either too when I began collecting Nancy Drew until someone pointed it out. It almost fades into the design of the purse.

Jenn:)

LuAnn Sgrecci O'Connell said...

The shirt dress I found for the Hidden Window convention looks alot like the Ringmaster's Secret Dress. Is that b&w illustration of Nancy with Chief McGinnis the style people generally like or dislike? I've always liked those. I think the internals for the RT Quest of the Missing Map are particularly good (except for the rearview mirror one). Last night I dreamed I was looking at an old Nancy Drew book with lots of internal illustrations in color! I'm enjoying your look at Nancy through the decades, Jenn.

Jenn said...

@LuAnn - Thanks, it's been fun to look at Nancy in each decade and compare them. The B/W illustration I used is one that people like overall--those from the 1950s and 1960s are pretty good, it's the ones from the 1970s which look more like stick figures or scribbles that people tend not to like.

Jenn:)

Anonymous said...

I just came across your blog and am so excited to see an indepth study of the Nancy Drew series by decade. I grew up with ND mysteries and have many happy memories of reading the books with my mother when I was little. Also, noticed that you wrote Clues for Life: The Classic Wit & Wisdom of Nancy Drew. I love the book and it is a welcome addition to all my ND book collection. My two favorite quotes from chapter 4 are 1)"When your boyfriend is choroformed and tied to a tree and he's just disgusted with himself at being caught instead of you for getting him into this predicament, you know he likes you" and the most hilarious 2) "When getting a call from a guy makes you send your slippers flying to the nether regions of your bedroom, you might just be infatuated!" Such a cute book.
-Corrie

Jenn said...

@Corrie - thank you so much :) I'm so glad you liked it! If you've read the original version of Clue in the Diary where I got the quote about the slippers--the scene is a lot of fun.

Jenn:)

Kansas Mad Man said...

As far as the illustrations, the internal artist from 1955 to 1963 is very good, I think. Moonstone Castle, Lilac Inn, Dancing Puppet, Fire Dragon, and the like are ALL great. (Scarlet Slipper is okay but everyone seems short in Witch Tree, but well-detailed). I like the artist(s) who draws in this style. I'm not as much a fan of the artist who does "pageboy" Nancy after 1964, in several revisions and new volumes (revised Locket, Letter) and I believe I've heard others comment similarly on the artist working on Judy Bolton. . . I prefer "flip" Nancy artist who did revised Attic and Map as a revisionist. I agree that the 70s is the bad interior art with t-shirt and bell-bottoms Nancy when the text describes her more formally. . .

The 50s era books are some of my favorites, and I LOVE the formality that all the female villains are "Mrs," with rarely any first names used. . .

Junior