Monday, December 14, 2015

The Hardy Boys Author Slept Here

Franklin W Dixon, who was really Leslie McFarlane, did more than sleep here; he lived here

There is a local blogger, Linda Seccaspina, who has really gotten into posting about our town, Carleton Place, much of her posting being historical. Since I mentioned not too long ago that Hardy Boy and Nancy Drew author, Franklin W Dixon (pen name for the Hardy Boys author, Leslie McFarlane) lived here in CP, and since one reader showed interest in learning more, I thought I would use Linda's two posts to add a little information.

Her posts:
I became an avid Hardy Boy reader after consuming The Bobbsey Twins when I was younger, and I was pleasantly surprised when I learned that the author had lived and written here in Carleton Place. He was born here as Leslie McFarlane, son of local teacher and principal, John Henry McFarlane. Strangely enough, I am also familiar with Leslie's (aka Dixon's) son, Brian McFarlane, who for years was a host/commentator on Hockey Night in Canada, which I watched religiously on Saturday nights.

So, I have three connections with Leslie McFarlane.
  1. I consumed the books as a boy. 
  2. I was an avid watcher of Hockey Night in Canada, particularly the Montreal telecast. 
  3. I moved to Carleton Place ten years ago.

You should go and read Linda's posts (linked above) for more information, but let me write here that Leslie McFarlane as Fenton W Dixon wrote 19 of the Hardy Boy books and 4 of the Nancy Drew books (first used in another series). It seems that he was paid between $85 and $125 per novel and he received no subsequent royalties. It also seems that he didn't enjoy this gig, but it was a way to make ends meet back in the day.


Jackie said...

I was surprised to read that he didn't enjoy writing the Hardy Boys books. Fascinating reading about his ghost writing!
I, too, loved reading The Bobbsey Twins series. I have old copies of Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and Trixie Belden books.
(An aside: my husband enjoys reading Clive Cussler's books, and Cussler uses ghost writers, also.)
I had no idea that McFarlane's wife wrote one of The Hardy Boys. Makes me want to get that book and see if I can spot differences.
....Such an interesting read, and I thank you for sharing those links with us.

Savannah Devilles was Linda Seccaspina said...

I found the whole story so amazing.. and when I founD out about the connection with Clayton etc.. I was driven..:) Thanks John.. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU And YOURS

Marie Smith said...

Great post. The Hardy boys were my favourite. The authors were paid so little. Can you imagine JK Rowling making that amount for her books?

TexWisGirl said...

pretty neat.

Country Gal said...

That's neat ! I never realized all this . Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !

EG CameraGirl said...

Seems to me like a very hard way to make ends meet when the pay was so little!

The Geezers said...

Ah, I remember devouring all those books when I was 10 or 12 years old. Interesting post. Thanks for sharing.

Linda Kay said...

Interesting history in your town, John. Looks like her posts have brought back some good memories.

Kerry said...

Wow. Really? I loved those books as a child. He should've been paid more!By the way, I just finished a Louise Penny novel and liked it. I think it was you who recommended her.

Shammickite said...

I had never heard of any of those books until I came to Canada, and of course didn't read any of them when I was growing up in England. Consequently, my sons didn't read them either. I wonder if it's too late to try them.

Tabor said...

Fascinating information. Had he written today he would be a multi-millionaire. I loved Bobbsey Twins and had forgotten that series. And I read the complete Nancy Drew Series.