Recent Publications

This page lists both published and unpublished articles for journals and book samples written by James D. Keeline.  Several are represented with hypertext links to Portable Document File versions which can be read with the free Adobe Acrobat Reader program. Some of these files are quite large and if you prefer to have a printed version, please contact me via e-mail.

Popular Culture Association papers:

The Popular Culture Association and American Culture Association holds a national conference each year around Easter. The section on Dime Novels, Pulps, and Series Books was established in 1983 and has met every year since 1984 with between seven and twenty papers which have defined the scholarship in this field.

1999 "Edward Stratemeyer, Author and Literary Agent, 1876-1906"  (5.5 MB)

Edward Stratemeyer (1862-1930) is best known as the author of the Rover Boys series and the founder of the Stratemeyer Literary Syndicate, an organization which produced the most popular juvenile series books, including the Bobbsey Twins (1904-1985), Tom Swift (1910-1941), the Hardy Boys (1927-1985), Nancy Drew (1930-1985), the Happy Hollisters (1953-1970), and Tom Swift Jr. (1954-1971).

Little has been written about Stratemeyer's early writing career before he founded the Syndicate in 1905. According to most biographical articles and reviews, Stratemeyer's first writing was a story called "Victor Horton's Idea" which was published in Golden Days in 1889.

This paper outlines the earliest extant examples of Stratemeyer's writings, including amateur story papers written and typeset by Stratemeyer, a holograph manuscript of his valedictory address to his high school graduating class (3 students including himself), a semi-professional story paper, and published poetry, all of which appeared before "Victor Horton's Idea."

The paper also shows Stratemeyer's early development as a writer and a businessman and the lessons which formed the basis for the Stratemeyer Syndicate.

1998 "Trixie Belden, Schoolgirl Shamus"  (1.6 MB)

The Trixie Belden series (1948-1986) was created by Julie Campbell Tatham (1908-1999) for Whitman. This mystery series features an ensemble of characters who form a semi-secret charitable society, called the Bob Whites of the Glen (or BWGs).

Tatham wrote the first six volumes in this series from her home in Westchester County, New York which was used as the model for the setting for the stories and her home on Glendale Road is the model for Trixie's home on Glen Road in the stories. This paper is illustrated with photos of the house and surrounding area along with maps of the fictional and real settings.

After writing these volumes, Tatham stopped writing this series and the less-popular Ginny Gordon series. Whitman continued the series, hiring other writers to create stories. Until now, little has been known about the identity of these writers. This paper includes details about these people, which volumes they wrote (when known), and their strengths and weaknesses as writers. For example, some writers knew horses well and treated them like additional characters with personality. Other writers did not know much about horses and tried to show expertise by tossing in terms like "curry combs." Still others avoided horses altogether in their plots and had the BWGs riding bicycles.

1997 "Supply and Demand: Assessing the Scarcity and Collectibility of Juvenile Series Books"  (81 k)

Why are some books harder to find than others? This paper explores the many factors which affect the supply (how many copies were printed and sold?, how many survive today?) and demand (are some stories better-written or more relavent to today's readers than others?) with respect to juvenile series books using numerous charts and graphs.

1996 "Jules Verne, Bracebridge Hemyng, and Edward Stratemeyer: A Case of Nineteenth Century Plagiarism"  (2.8 MB)

Jules Verne is often called the "father of science fiction." His Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas was published in France in 1870 and translated into English in 1873.

Immediately after this translation, Bracebridge Hemyng, a British popular fiction writer, retold the basic plot elements and included it in his Dick Lightheart series of stories. This story was promptly pirated by American story paper publishers in 1874.

Nearly twenty years later, Edward Stratemeyer, in need of additional material for Young Sports of America, the story paper for which he was the associate editor, appropriated this old Hemyng story and published it as "The Wizard of the Deep" (1895). This was later published in book form as The Wizard of the Sea (1900).

This paper compares the three versions of this story and shows the words copied verbatim by Stratemeyer from the Hemyng story, revealing this plagiarism for the first time.

1995 "Tom Swift on the Silver Screen"  (523k)

The Tom Swift series (1910-1941) featured a young man who invented most of the marvels of the early twentieth century. Readers of the series "know" that Tom Swift invented television, the war tank, and the photo telephone.

Edward Stratemeyer (1862-1930) and the series' principal ghostwriter, Howard R. Garis (1873-1962), had a fascination with motion pictures and they were used both as a fictional plot element for this series and at least three other Stratemeyer Syndicate series. It was also a new venue for their storytelling efforts. Tom Swift was offered as a potential topic for silent films in 1917. (Three other Syndicate books were adapted into films in 1918 and 1919).

This was the first attempt to place Tom Swift on film. However, it was not the last one nor the closest to success. In the 1940s, a radio script and audition recording were prepared and in the 1950s, three scripts for a Tom Swift Jr. television program were written.

In the 1960s, the most extensive effort (and near success) was launched when Twentieth Century Fox commissioned two drafts of a screenplay and even built a full-scale "aeroship" which was to be suspended by cables from a helicopter for filming.

In the 1980s, Tom Swift appeared on a television pilot with Willie Aames and Lori Loughlin. In the 1990s, an episode of the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles television program had young Indy meet Edward and "Nancy" Stratemeyer and the Tom Swift books were mentioned (although with errors).

1990 "Mechanics of the Stratemeyer Syndicate As Related to the Tom Swift Series"

This paper follows the steps in production of a Stratemeyer Syndicate series from story idea, to title proposal sheets, to manuscript, to published book. It illustrates the source of stories from magazines like Scientific American and the changes which occurred between the title proposals and the final product.

Published in Newsboy (Horatio Alger Society newsletter).

Other series book articles:

"Who Wrote the Bobbsey Twins series?"

"Who Wrote the Hardy Boys series?"

"Who Wrote the Nancy Drew series?"

These articles appeared in Yellowback Library and presented the authorship for these series for the first time using documents held in the Nancy Axelrad papers in the Beinecke Collection at Yale University. They enumerate each title and the creator of the outline, author of the manuscript, and the editor as well as other relavent facts about the people and circumstances for the books.

"Who Was Allen Chapman? "

This article takes a single Stratemeyer Syndicate pseudonym and explores the books from several series which used it, identifying the ghostwriters who wrote under that name and providing information on phantom titles which planned to use it.

"Bobbsey Twins Formats"

This web page describes the history of the Bobbsey Twins series and illustrates some of the formats used by the authorized and pirate publishers.

Edward Stratemeyer Genealogy:

Family of Edward Stratemeyer

Since the Stratemeyer Syndicate employed several family members, having a clear understanding of their relationships is important. For example, Stratemeyer's father married his mother, who had been previously married to his uncle. As a result, Edward Stratemeyer had both brothers and half brothers.

Series Book Encyclopedia:

Series Book Encyclopedia: "A" section (1998 draft)

This is a large-scale book in progress which will provide in a single alphabetic sequence entries on series (with volumes listed), authors, pseudonyms, ghostwriters, editors, illustrators, publishers and subject themes used in series books. The final product will be published by a library-oriented publisher in an effort to reverse the tide of misinformation which has permeated resources commonly available in libraries.

San Diego Booksellers Association newsletter: BookEndz:

Sample issues of BookEndz

The San Diego Booksellers Association is the largest regional bookstore trade organization with more than 110 used and independent new booksellers represented. Its newsletter is called BookEndz and since January 1996 has been edited by James D. Keeline.


James D. Keeline's Resume

This three-page resume lists all of the major articles both written and pending as well as book projects.

Keeline Family Genealogy

One of my hobbies has been genealogy.

Sample of Usenet Postings

For nearly five years, I have been an active participant on the usenet newsgroups (bulletin boards) offering detailed information on various topics related to children's books and other personal interests. The DejaNews link above offers a sample of these postings. This daily exercise demonstrates my desire and ability to help others who seek answers to complex questions in clear and comprehensible prose.


Maintained by James D. Keeline, former manager of the Prince and the Pauper Collectible Children's Books, Area Chair for the Popular Culture Association section on Dime Novels, Pulps, and Series Books and former editor of BookEndz. Last update: 27 December 2000.