Monday, December 18, 2006

News: Hardy Boys Author's Estate Donates Papers to Library

Michael Posner of the Globe and Mail reports that personal archive of Canadian author Leslie McFarlane -- much better known as Franklin W. Dixon, the pseudonym affixed to the best-selling mystery series, the Hardy Boys -- has been given by his heirs to Hamilton's McMaster University.

In the mid-1920s, McFarlane worked as a staff reporter for a Springfield (MA) newspaper before seeing an advertisement for a children's book ghostwriter, placed by the Stratemeyer Syndicate. Under the pen name Roy Rockwood, McFarlane produced seven novels in the Dave Fearless series for the syndicate before moving on to write more than 20 Hardy Boys novels, including the first 16 in the series. For most of these, he was paid a flat fee of $100 per book and, although the novels sold many millions of copies and were translated into 50 languages, he earned no royalties.

It was only a year before his death in 1977 that McFarlane announced his role in their creation. The Stratemeyer Syndicate had insisted that their ghostwriters never reveal authorship.

"He left a wonderful legacy," says son Brian McFarlane. "He got millions of kids hooked on reading."

Read the entire article on GlobeAndMail.com here.

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