by Arthur M. Winfield
Arthur M. Winfield was the pseudonym of Edward L. Stratemeyer, who was an incredibly prolific writer. He collaborated in writing over 1,300 books, selling more than 500 million copies. He was behind several incredibly popular juvenile fiction series such as The Bobbsey Twins, The Hardy Boys and the Nancy Drew series. To create so many titles, he developed the Stratemeyer Syndicate, a book-packaging technique. Utilizing a series of freelance writers, editors, proofreaders, and others, all working on long-running series using the same characters in a formulaic structure, the Stratemeyer Syndicate was able to produce millions of books. What helped the Stratemeyer Syndicate stand out was that it was the first book packager to focus on children’s literature.
The Schooldays of Fred Harley is part of the 1897 Bright and Bold Series, written by Edward Stratemeyer under the pseudonym of Arthur M. Winfield. Stratemeyer used a variety of pseudonyms because he found that the titles sold better when believed to be written by a variety of people. Works like The Schooldays of Fred Harley are representative of popular children’s literature during the first quarter of the 20th century because the works of the Stratemeyer Syndicate were overwhelmingly read.