Monday, January 5, 2009



Autographs have always been fascinating to me, especially when they are by an author in one of their books. All of the autographs pictured above are in my collection except for the one of  Capwell Wyckoff, which belongs to another collector. I wanted to include it because I greatly admire his body of work and his autograph is rarely seen. The Mildred Wirt Benson autograph I found in a Boy Scout Explorers at Treasure Mountain. It is unique in that she wrote in her pseudonym for that series, Don Palmer. It was written a few years after the book was published and she also wrote her name below the Don Palmer. There are a lot of Mildred Wirt autographs in the market, but most after she became famous in the 1990s, and most are in poor handwriting, reflecting her advancing age. The second Mildred Wirt autograph also had to have been done many years ago, perhaps when she was still writing series books. I am currently selling that book on eBay. The Harriet (Carolyn Keene) Adams autograph is in a copy of Nancy Drew Sky Phantom. I have seen many Adams autographs where she writes in the upper left corner of a blank page before the title page. Finally, the Howard Garis autograph is in a copy of Teddy and the Mystery Cat. The newest autograph to my collection is the John (Hal Goodwin) Blaine inscription written in Rick Brant Smugglers' Reef. In all my years of collecting, I can barely ever remember seeing one of his books autographed.

1 comment:

  1. Although this is a post from several months ago, I am still moved to comment upon it.

    Series books with signatures are often problematic because sometimes the ghostwriters were discouraged from signing the books they worked on which were issued under pseudonyms owned by others.

    There are occasions where a book will be found that is "signed" by the pen name. This raises the obvious question: who signed it and under what circumstances?

    Some authors were fairly accessible and willing to sign books placed before them. Others, either died early or actively avoided autographing books.

    In the case of Edward Stratemeyer, he would occasionally sign a book for a fellow author or someone he met. However, he strongly objected to suggestions by publishers that he do the traditional author signings in bookstores which are fairly commonplace today.

    Hence, his autograph is hard to obtain, especially in books. The two books I own which are signed by him were presented to a fellow author, George Waldo Browne, on separate occasions. Brown reciproicated with a signed book he wrote in each case.

    Some time back I put together some samples of series book autographs I have located over the years. I have some others which were not added to the list but it is a good starting point:

    James Keeline