31 Days of Nancy Drew Topic #6
Nancy Drew Foreign Editions - Brief Overview
According to Lea Fox's NancyDrewWorld.com website there are books that over the years have been translated into 26 languages (27 if you count the Queen's English) and a plethora of countries where they've been published like Sweden, France, Greece and Japan among many others. Many of these editions use new art and some even call Nancy by a different name like in France where she's Alice. Not all countries still publish her but there are some who currently publish the modern books too. Check out the images I've posted of various covers - can you figure out which cover is from what country or what language?
You don't have to speak a foreign language to collect and appreciate these books, but you may even be inspired to learn a new language just to read them. I took French and 3 years of Japanese in high school and college, and there's been a lot of Japanese editions listed on eBay in the last year, so it's been fun to collect a few of these.
You can find a variety of foreign editions on sites like eBay and be forewarned, shipping from other countries can be quite expensive. At one point, I did not make much effort to collect these, due to space and also the shipping costs. Every once in a while I would find them from US sellers or I'd make exceptions - for instance getting the Sampson & Low Larkspur Lane in dust jacket was worth it and then I began to acquire a lot of Norwegian ones as the shipping wasn't too bad on those. Other collectors have sold me their duplicates which I've appreciated a lot and so in the last several years my collection has expanded quite a bit - I've got a few photos of my shelves showing the foreign editions I have.
Trying to collect so many types of Nancy Drew books can be overwhelming and expensive. If you're not ready to take the plunge, you can focus on several strategies to own foreign editions - buy them in languages you can read so you get more bang for your buck so to speak. You could buy one example of each language regardless of which title or you could focus on getting a specific title in as many languages as you can. I believe Lea Fox said at one time that The Secret of Shadow Ranch has been printed in most languages. Even if you cannot speak the languages, the cover art on these books makes them quite collectible.
There is also a collectible item - the 1950s Nancy Drew Mystery Game - which was reproduced in the 1970s in Norway - it's pictured above.
There is a little bit of historical material about the various foreign publishers/etc. in the Stratemeyer Syndicate archive at the New York Public Library if you are ever in NYC and want to check out the material behind the scenes.
For more information about these and to see lots of covers check out Jennifer White's Series-Books.com, Jim McNamara's - Nancy Drew International Collections website , and Lea Fox's NancyDrewWorld.com website.
I have a very brief section on foreign editions in the Nancy Drew Books section at my website - which was created when I owned about a dozen of these books and it's in need of a vast update now that I've acquired so many in recent years.
In the comments, let me know, do you collect foreign editions? If so, what's your favorite? Do you have a favorite cover art? What do you think of how Nancy is depicted on the covers of foreign editions? Are you inspired to start collecting them? Do you read other languages and if so, have you read some of the Nancy Drew books in those languages?