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Frederick Van Rensselaer Dey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dey frederick1.jpg
Written by "Varick Vanardy", Dey's novel Odds and the Man was serialized in The Argosy in 1918
Written by "Varick Vanardy", Dey's novel Odds and the Man was serialized in The Argosy in 1918
Lobby card for Alias the Night Wind (1923), based on Dey's 1913 novel serialized in Cavalier
Lobby card for Alias the Night Wind (1923), based on Dey's 1913 novel serialized in Cavalier

Frederick van Rensselaer Dey (February 10, 1861 – April 25, 1922) was an American dime novelist and pulp fiction writer.

Early life and marriages

He was born on February 10, 1861 in Watkins Glen, New York, to David Peter Dey and Emma Brewster Sayre. He attended the Havana Academy, and later graduated from the Columbia Law School. He practiced law and was a junior partner of William J. Gaynor. Dey took up writing while recovering from an illness. His first full-length story was written for Beadle and Adams in 1881.

Dey married Annie Shepard Wheeler, of Providence, Rhode Island, on June 4, 1885 and they had two children, Harriet and Kinsley. After a divorce he married Haryot Holt (c. 1857–June 16, 1950) on April 1, 1898.[1][2]


In 1891, Street & Smith hired him to continue the series begun by John R. Coryell, on the adventures of Nick Carter.[1] Most of his Nick Carter stories appeared under the pseudonyms "A Celebrated Author" and "The Author of 'Nick Carter'".[3] He wrote over a thousand Nick Carter novelettes, comprising over forty million words, all written longhand.[4] Dey also worked as a newspaper reporter.[5]

Writing as "Varick Vanardy", he created "The Night Wind", which appeared in stories from 1913 to the early 1920s. Collected into 4 books, these have been recently reprinted by Wildside Press: Alias The Night Wind (1913), Return of the Night Wind, The Night Wind's Promise, The Lady of the Night Wind (1918).[6]


Dey shot himself in his room in the Hotel Broztell in New York City, during the night of April 25, 1922 or the morning of April 26, 1922.[7] The body was found either by Charles E. MacLean, the managing editor for Street & Smith,[1] or by Deputy Police Commissioner Joseph Faurot.[8]


  1. ^ a b c Frederick van Rensselaer Dey Biography
  2. ^ "Mrs. Haryot Dey, Author, Dies at 93; Widow of Creator of the Nick Carter Stories. Had Been Editor for Many Years". New York Times. June 17, 1950. Retrieved 2011-11-23. Mrs. Haryot Holt Dey, author and editor, died here today in the Heagney Nursing Home. She was 93 years old. ...
  3. ^ Cox, J. Randolph. The Dime Novel Companion: A Source Book. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2000. Print. 82-83.
  4. ^ Bradley, Marion Zimmer, "Speaking of Hacks", Astra's Tower #4, May 1950.
  5. ^ Dey, Frederick Van Rensselaer. "How I Wrote a Thousand 'Nick Carter' Novels." The American Magazine Feb 1920: 19, 159-163. Print.
  6. ^ "Wildside Press Varnady Listings". Archived from the original on 2009-04-26. Retrieved 2010-02-23.
  7. ^ "Creator of 'Nick Carter' Kills Himself; Penniless After Writing 40,000,000 Words". New York Times. April 27, 1922. Retrieved 2011-11-23. Frederick Van Rensselaer Dey, 61 years old, originator of the 'Nick Carter' detective stories, shot himself to death in his room at the Hotel Broztell, 3 East Twenty-seventh Street, late last Tuesday night or yesterday morning. His body was found at 2 P.M. by Charles E. MacLean, managing editor for Street Smith, who first published the 'Nick Carter' tales.
  8. ^ Van Raalte, Joseph. "Nick Carter: The Picturesque Career of the Man Who Made Him." Century: A Popular Quarterly 114 (Nov 1927): 91-97. Print.

External links

This page was last edited on 29 June 2021, at 12:06
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