And then, Stratemeyer was nothing if not a good salesman. Molly Edmonds: So this guy was a good businessman, and he really seemed to understand children well.When the Boy Scouts were formed, he immediately pumped out this series about Boy Scouts having all these adventures, and the Boy Scouts got mad at him because then the real Boy Scouts didn't want to just do the boring Boy Scout things. At the time, a lot of the thinking was that girls would just read boys books; they didn't need their own characters.Cristen Conger: Yeah, they didn't think that they would sell very well, which doesn't really make sense, and Nancy Drew proved them wrong.
Molly Edmonds: They are, and Nancy Drew's really been in the headlines a lot lately because during her confirmation hearings, Sonia Sotomayor has mentioned a fondness for Nancy Drew.
Molly Edmonds: It's to remind me to always dress fabulously no matter what mysteries I might be solving. My mom actually gave me the - when I was, I don't know, maybe 13 or 14, she gave me the reprinted originals.
But let's - if there are people out there who haven't read the books, let's talk a little bit about what they're about, who Nancy was.
Cristen Conger: Nancy Drew, she's kind of a stock character if you think about it. In the first series of books she's 16, and then she is eventually updated to be 18-years-old. Nancy Drew's mother passed away at three, so she has Hannah Gruen, her German housekeeper, kind of serves - Molly Edmonds: So trusting.
Cristen Conger: Yeah, but don't rely on people like Ned to save you if you're - Molly Edmonds: Oh, goodness, no. We were reading about a character that was around at the time of Nancy Drew, and she's described as being a great person because she knows how to do laundry because she watched their housekeeper all the time.
Cristen Conger: Yeah, usually Nancy had to end up - Molly Edmonds: Saving Ned. Cristen Conger: I think her name was Honeybunch, which I liked.Cristen Conger: Yeah, I think one of the last stats that I saw, maybe from a couple years ago, was that there have been over 200 million Nancy Drew books sold since 1930.Molly Edmonds: It's kind of unreal, but like I said, he's a good businessman; he has the right idea at the right time. Originally, he wasn't going to call her Nancy Drew. There were all sorts of potential names, such as Stella Strong, and I think Nan None was one of them. Cristen Conger: Diana Dare, which is good; that's a good one. Cristen Conger: Even though she really created the model of Nancy Drew that so many girls have come to know and love, she didn't really get to enjoy the fruits of her labor that much.He was responsible for the Hardy Boys, The Bobbsey Twins, Tom Swift books, like, just these books that our parents grew up with.Cristen Conger: Right, and these were a new kind of children's book for the time because a lot of times, what kids would be reading would be just moral lessons, more like Sunday School type lessons. What do Laura Bush, Diane Sawyer, Oprah's friend Gail - Cristen Conger: Gail King? Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Hillary Rodham Clinton have in common? But, you know, I really identified with hearing that these women liked Nancy Drew because I loved Nancy Drew.