The Writers of the Bobbsey Series

by James D. Keeline

(reprinted with his kind permission)
revised August 25, 1999

It is a popular legend that Edward Stratemeyer wrote the first three
volumes in the Bobbsey Twins series. However, this is a myth which
was propagated by Stratemeyer's daughter, Harriet S. Adams, the head
of the Syndicate between 1930 and her death in 1982.

	Original Texts:
1     	Edward Stratemeyer	[Literary Account Books, v. 2, #208]
2-3   	Lilian C. Garis   	[Releases for this and below]
4-28   	Howard R. Garis   	
29-35  	Elizabeth D. Ward 	
36-40  	Harriet S. Adams  	[v. 39 was co-written by Camilla McClave]
39    	Camilla McClave   	[chapters 15-25; chapters 1-14 by HSA]
41    	Howard R. Garis
42    	Harriet S. Adams
43       	Harriet S. Adams & Andrew E. Svenson
44-48 	Harriet S. Adams
49-52 	Andrew E. Svenson
53-59 	June M. Dunn
60-67 	Grace Grote
68-72 	Nancy S. Axelrad

1-4, 7 	June M. Dunn
11-13, 17	June M. Dunn
5, 16 	Mary C. Donahoe
6, 25 	Patricia A. Doll
8-10, 15   Bonnibel B. Weston
14, 18-20	Grace Grote
24       	Margery Howard

Volumes 4-28 appear to be the work of Howard R. Garis, a close friend
of Edward Stratemeyer and one of the Syndicate's most prolific ghost-
writers. Garis wrote most, if not all, of the following series: the
Motor Boys, College Sports series, Baseball Joe, Tom Swift, Larry Dexter,
Dick Hamilton, etc. etc. Garis stopped writing for the Syndicate around
1932/33 when he had several disagreements with Harriet S. Adams and her
sister, Edna C. Stratemeyer (later Edna C. Squier), who were running the
Syndicate. Each had their own ideas on who would the the controlling
creative force for the Syndicate.

Following Garis, Elizabeth M. Duffield (later known as Elizabeth D. Ward)
wrote volumes 29-35.

Harriet S. Adams is generally credited with volumes 36-40 and 42. This
is not impossible but sometimes her name is attached when the real name
of the ghostwriter is not known.

One of Harriet's daughters, Camilla Anne Adams (later known as Camilla
McClave) wrote one volume, #39, with help from her mother.

Howard R. Garis came back in 1948 to write one volume in the series, #41.

Garis introduced Andrew E. Svenson to the Syndicate in 1948. Svenson was
a newspaper reporter for the Newark Evening News. He became a full partner
in the Syndicate in 1961. He was generally responsible for supervising the
boys' series produced by the Syndicate. He was the creator and nearly sole
author for the Happy Hollisters series (1953-1970) except for volume 30
which was written by another Syndicate employee, Grace Grote. Svenson wrote
volumes 43 (with Harriet Adams), and 49-52 in the Bobbsey Twins series.

Syndicate employees June Dunn and Grace Grote wrote volumes 53-59 and 60-67,

The youngest member of the Stratemeyer Syndicate staff, Nancy S. Axelrad,
joined the Syndicate in 1965 and was a personal assistant to Harriet S.
Adams. Axelrad and Adams went on a cruise off the coast of Dakar, Africa
to view a solar eclipse. Rather than stay with the adults, they followed
the children in their educational programs. They had intended to use the
information for the revision of the Nancy Drew volume, The Mystery of the
Brass-Bound Trunk. Instead, upon their return, Grosset & Dunlap wanted a
new Bobbsey Twins volume. The information gained was worked into the
Bobbsey Twins volume, The Mystery of the Sun-Moon Cruise. Axelrad wrote
this volume (#68) and the remaining new volumes in the Grosset & Dunlap
series (68-72).


James D. Keeline
Click here for James Keeline's Website
Click here for the Stratemeyer Syndicate

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