Course Overview

Today, in a list of memorable authors, it is doubtful whether Somerset Maugham or Rose Wilder Lane would be included. Yet Maugham was the highest-paid author during the 1930s. Close on his financial heels was Rose Wilder Lane. Better known is her mother Laura Ingalls Wilder who wrote The Little House on the Prairie series. But did she? Regardless of authorship, those books as well as the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew were part of childhood. Who authored these? No one. They were a collaborative effort of ghost writers working for a publishing syndicate. Popular with adults were westerns and detective stories. While Zane Grey may have idealized the American frontier, Raymond Chandler’s hard-boiled detective Philip Marlowe navigated a darker urban landscape.


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