Pen Names of Writers in English Literature
Pen Names of Writers in English Literature : If you have ever read a book and found yourself thinking that the style and way of writing seemed very familiar, it is possible that the book you are reading was actually written by your favorite author —only under a pen name.
Pen Names of Writers in English Literature
A pen name, also known as a nom de plume or a pseudonym, is an assumed name used by an author, in place of their own name.
Some authors write exclusively under their pen name, while others write under both their actual name and their pen name (or multiple pen names, in some cases).
But, why do authors use pen names? And how do they come up with the pen names they use?
While the answer for that varies from author to author, we have come up with a list of 8 famous authors who have used pen names, and the reasons behind their decision to forgo their real names on their books.
Mark Twain (real name Samuel Clemens):
It is a well-known fact that Mark Twain’s real name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens. It is said that Clemens got the name “Mark Twain” from his former job as a riverboat captain. The term, “Mark Twain”, is a river term that means “two fathoms,” or 12 feet. The sounding of “Mark Twain” on a riverboat meant that it was safe to navigate the water.
What is not so well known is the fact that Clemens also wrote under the names Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass, Sergeant Fathom, and W. Epaminondas Adrastus Blab.
It is said that Samuel Clemens chose to write under pen names as a way to have literary freedom.
It was also a way to protect his family from repercussions due to the content and opinions of the characters in his books.
Dr. Seuss (real name Theodor Seuss Geisel):
Theodor Seuss Geisel is famous worldwide for his children’s books, penned under the name “Dr. Seuss.”
Geisel first started using this pen name in college, after he was caught drinking by the Dean of the school, stripped of his position as editor of the Dartmouth college’s humor magazine, “Jack-o-Lantern,” and banned from writing for the magazine.
In order to trick the administration and continue writing for the magazine, Geisel adopted the name Dr. Theophrastus Seuss, which he later shortened to Dr. Seuss.
Geisel was not actually a doctor of any sort, having dropped out of the PhD program at Oxford.
The “Dr.” in his pen name was in honor of his father, who had hoped that Geisel would someday get his PhD. The “Seuss” came from Geisel’s middle name, which was also his mother’s maiden name.
While not nearly as famous as his “Dr. Seuss” pen name, Geisel also famously wrote under the names Theo LeSieg (Geisel spelled backwards) and Rosetta Stone.
George Orwell (real name Eric Arthur Blair):
When author Eric Arthur Blair was ready to publish his first book, Down and Out in Paris and London, he was concerned that his family would be embarrassed by the stories of their time in poverty.
In order to protect them, he decided to adopt a pen name.
He chose the name George Orwell to reflect his deep love of England.
George is the patron saint of England, and Orwell was the name of a river where he loved to go sailing.
Lemony Snicket (real name Daniel Handler):
It is likely that most people cannot identify any books written by Daniel Handler.
However, one would be hard-pressed to find someone who has never heard of Lemony Snicket and his popular children’s series’ A Series of Unfortunate Events and All the Wrong Questions.
It is said that Handler first adopted the pen name of Lemony Snicket when he was doing research for his first novel, Basic Eight. He needed to contact various right-wing organizations, but did not want them to have his real name. Thus, Lemony Snicket was born.
Stan Lee (real name Stanley Martin Lieber):
Debatably one of the most famous comic book writers in the world, Lieber originally made the decision to write under the name Stan Lee because he hoped to one day graduate to writing more serious literary work, and planned to save his real name for that.
Once it became apparent that he was destined to be known for his comic books, Lieber made the decision to legally change his name to Stan Lee.
Richard Bachman (real name Stephen King):
When King first started his writing career, it was a common belief in the publishing world that an author could only successfully release one book per year. In order to bypass this belief, King created the pseudonym “Richard Bachman,” so that he could release multiple books per year.
King ended up publishing seven novels under the name of Bachman, before the connection between his pen name and his real identity were discovered.
While King claims that he created his pen name in order to get away with releasing more books per year, it is said that he also wanted to see if “lightening could strike twice.”
He wondered if his writing talent alone could launch his Richard Bachman personality into as much fame as he had achieved under his own name.
Interestingly, though, the books he released under the name Richard Bachman did not gain success until it was publicly known that the books were King’s.
JK Rowling and Robert Galbraith (real name Joanne Rowling):
Now famous worldwide for her Harry Potter series, Rowling’s publishers were at first unsure if her target audience of pre-teen boys would accept stories about wizards that were written by a woman. For that reason, they encouraged her to use initials on the books instead of her first name.
Having no middle name, Rowling adopted the “K” from her grandmother’s name, Kathleen, and became known as J.K. Rowling.
What may surprise some, though, is that Rowling has been writing crime novels under yet another pen name: Robert Galbraith.
Rowling has said that she made the decision to write her crime novels under another pseudonym, so that she could freely write without having the pressure from being the author of the wildly successful Harry Potter books.
She liked the appeal of being able to create something completely different, and wanted her crime novels to stand (or fall) on their own merits.
Mary Westmacott (real name Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie):
Known as the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie created 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections during her impressive writing career.
However, what is unknown to many is the fact that she also wrote six romance novels under a pen name, Mary Westmacott, which she managed to keep secret for 20 years.
It is said that Christie adopted her pen name, so that she could more easily switch genres from mystery and crime to romance.
Pen Names of Writers in English Literature
There have been many major writers, critics, painters, illustrators, and engravers who have employed pen names for their literary works in English literature. Many English writers have used pen names in order to hide their real identity so that, they could produce their literary works under pseudonyms or a pen names. A few writers adapted pen names on purpose. Here is a list of pen names and real names of writers and literary artists which would be useful for the student for the competitive exams and the reader who will find these pen names interesting and entertaining.
LIST OF 135 PEN NAMES OF GREAT WRITERS
|Sr. no||Real Name||Pen Name|
|4||Elizabeth Penrose||Mrs. Markham|
|5||Hannah Cowley||Anna Matilda|
|6||Mary Ann Evans||George Eliot|
|7||Anne Bronte||Acton Bell|
|8||Emily Bronte||Ellis Bell|
|9||Charlotte Bronte||Currer Bell|
|10||Mary Louisa Molesworth||Ennis Graham|
|11||Katharine Bradley and Edith Cooper||Michael Field|
|12||Katharine Bradley||Arran Leigh|
|13||Eleanor Fenn||Anna Matilda and Mrs. Teachwell|
|16||Agatha Christi||Mary Westmacott|
|17||Gwyneth Jones||Ann Halam|
|18||Molly Keane||M.J. Farrell|
|19||Doris Lessing||Jane Sommers|
|20||Mary Challans||Mary Renault|
|22||Ruth Rendel||Barbara Vine|
|23||Ethel Richardson||Henry Handel Richardson|
|24||Aurore Dupin||George Sand|
|25||Sarah Smith||Hesba Stretton|
|27||Cherry Grimm||Cherry Wilder|
|29||Edith Harper||Anna Wicham|
|30||Anna Gorenko||Anna Akhmatova|
|31||Cecily Fairfield||Dame Rebecca West|
|32||Katharine Burdekin||Murray Constantine|
|33||Agatha Webster||Cecil Home|
|35||William Makepeace Thackeray||Michael Angelo Titmarsh|
|36||Christopher Smart||Mrs. Midnight|
|37||James Thomson||Bysshe Vanolis|
|38||Jacques-Anatole Francois Thibault||Anatole France|
|39||John Galsworthy||John Sinjohn|
|42||Cecil Day Lewis||Nicholas Blake|
|44||Robertson Davies||Samuel Marchbanks|
|45||Douglas W. Jerrold||“Q”|
|47||John Wolcot||Peter Pindar|
|48||Edward William||Iolo Marganwg|
|49||Ali Ahmad Said||Adonis|
|50||Henry Brooks Adams||Frances Snow Compton|
|51||William Hale White||Mark Rutherford|
|52||Conrad Potter Aiken||Samuel Jeake, Jr.|
|53||Anthony Burgess||Joseph Kell|
|54||Robert William Buchanan||Thomas Maitland|
|55||Hablot Knight Brown||Phiz|
|56||George Douglas Brown||Kennedy King|
|57||Osborne Henry Mavor||James Bridie|
|58||Edward Bradley||Cuthbert Bede|
|59||Charles Dodgson||Lewis Carroll|
|61||W. E. Aytoun and Theodore Martin||Bon Gaultier|
|62||John Banville||Benjamin Black|
|63||Kingsley Amis||Robert Markham|
|64||Thomas Guthrie||F. Anstey|
|65||John Middleton Murray, Jr.||Richard Cowper and Collin Murray|
|66||Brian Procter||Barry Cornwall|
|68||Paul Auster||Paul Benjamin|
|69||Cecil Mercer||Dornford Yates|
|70||Eric Arthur Blair||George Orwell|
|72||Daniel Nathan and Manford Lepofsky||Ellery Queen|
|73||Johan Paul Richter||Jean Paul|
|74||Hector Hugh Munroe||Saki|
|76||Ricardo Eliecer Neftali Reyes Bosoalto||Pablo Neruda|
|77||Sean O’Casey||Sean O’Cathasaigh|
|78||Michael O’Donovan||Frank O’Connor|
|80||Philip Klass||William Tenn|
|81||Edward Thomas||Edward Eastway|
|82||Peter Paterson||Peter Terson|
|83||Samuel Langhorne Clemens||Mark Twain|
|84||James Kenneth Stephen||J.K.S|
|85||Kenneth Millar||Ross MacDonald|
|86||Christopher Grieve||Hugh MacDiarmid|
|87||Francis Mahony||Father Prout|
|88||William Maginn||Morgan O’Doherty|
|89||Louis MacNeice||Louis Malone|
|90||William Sharp||Fiona Macleod|
|91||Robert Merry||Della Crusca|
|92||Edward Robert Bulwer Lytton||Owen Meredith|
|93||Andre Maurois||Emile Herzog|
|94||Theodore Martin||Bon Gaultier|
|96||Alberto Moravia||Alberto Pincherie|
|97||Thomas Moore||Thomas Little|
|98||David Moir||∆: ‘Delta’|
|99||Harry Frank||Pat Frank|
|100||Theophilo Folengo||Merlin Coccai|
|102||James Mitchell||Lewis Gibbon|
|103||Henry Yorke||Henry Green|
|104||George Griffith-Jones||George Griffith|
|105||Paul Barnett||John Grant|
|106||Joan Marshall Kelsey||John Grant|
|107||Sidney Luska||Henry Harland|
|109||James Oliver Rigney, Jr.||Robert Jordan|
|110||Anthony Hawkins||Anthony Hope|
|111||Walter de la Mare||Walter Ramal|
|113||Leonard Knapp||Lester Del Rey|
|114||John Innes Mackintosh Stewart||Michael Innes|
|115||Bruce Frederick Cummings||W.N.P. Barbellion|
|116||Allen Curnow||Whim Wham|
|117||Gary Armstrong||Robert Edric|
|118||Derek Lindsay||A.E. Ellis|
|119||Howard Melvin Fast||E.V. Cunningham|
|120||John Campbell||Don Stuart|
|121||Edward Cave||Sylvanus Urban|
|122||Paul Anschel||Paul Celan|
|123||George William Russell||‘Æ’|
|124||Nathan Weinstein||Nathanael West|
|125||Gore Vidal||Edgar Box|
|126||John Warren||George Preston and William Lancaster|
|127||Charles Ferrar||Artemas Ward|
|130||Washington Irving||Jonathan Oldstyle, Diedrich|
|131||Charles Maturin||Dennis Jasper Murphy|
|132||Robert Weidmann||Penini, or Pen|
|133||James Boswell||The Hypochondrick|
|134||Dion Baucicault||Lee Morton|
|135||Charles Stuart Calverley||C.S.C.|
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