The letter is on paper that measures 6 1/8 inches by 8 inches.
The photo measures approximately 2 1/4 inches by 3 inches.
The biographical sketch is on 8 1/2 inch by 11 inch paper.
The second paragraph is the part that I found the most interesting. It reads:
Mrs. Adams was born in New Jersey and lives in Maplewood. After her graduation from Wellesley College, she settled down in earnest to her chosen career--the writing of girls' mystery stories. Her father was an author and from the time she was a little girl she wrote stories, at first simple, and then more complicated.I have been trying to figure out how true the statement about Harriet's "chosen career" is. I skimmed through Melanie Rehak's book, Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her, to try to figure out how much writing Harriet did before her father passed away.
Harriet was a member of the Press Board at Wellesley College, and she was offered a position at the Boston Globe upon her graduation, which her father made her refuse. He did not want his daughter to become a career woman. He did briefly allow her to edit manuscripts.
I do not find any references to Harriet writing as a little girl, although I certainly could have missed them. The Girl Sleuth book takes side trips into historical facts, which requires the reader to skim past all of the historical information in order to continue reading the Stratemeyer story.
My opinion is that becoming a series book author was not Harriet's "chosen" career; rather, it was her "destined" career. Harriet fell into writing as a result of her father's death. When Edward Stratemeyer died, his daughters attempted to sell his company. After they could not find a buyer, they decided to continue his business. Harriet Adams began running the company, and later, she began writing the Nancy Drew books. However, the real story would not read well in a biography of Carolyn Keene.
The statements in the biographical sketch are interesting, since the sketch implies that Harriet was a writer from birth. I have to admit that I thought of Mildred Wirt Benson after I read it. She did write stories from a young age.
If anyone does have specific information about Harriet writing stories, other than newspaper stories, from a young age, let me know.
I want to mention that I greatly admire Harriet Adams. She has been criticized by many for her misleading statements during the later years of her life. In those statements, Harriet maintained that her father and she were the sole authors of the Nancy Drew books.
Edward Stratemeyer wrote the outlines for the first few Nancy Drew books, and Mildred Wirt Benson wrote most of the early books. Since Mildred Wirt Benson was a terrific writer who played an extremely important role in the development of Nancy Drew as a cultural icon, many people deeply despise Harriet for claiming authorship of the early books.
I turned against Harriet when I first read one of the articles with those erroneous statements. In the intervening years, I have forgiven Harriet and now greatly admire her for her contribution to Nancy Drew's legacy. Harriet Adams ran the Stratemeyer Syndicate for more than 50 years, and if she had not taken control of her father's business, this blog would not exist. We owe much to Harriet Adams, and it is best to look past her mistakes.