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Female Authors Who Used Male Pseudonyms

Essay by   •  August 19, 2013  •  Research Paper  •  662 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,241 Views

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What is a pseudonym? Many people are familiar with the definition of the term "pen -name." Well a pseudonym is another word for pen-name and many authors have used them. Both genders have been known to do so but female authors are more likely to use pseudonyms.

There was a time in history when the works of female authors weren't taken as seriously as the works of male authors. Due to this, some female authors decided to write under a false name. They chose to use a male name in order to succeed during their time. Have you ever heard of Charlotte Bronte? Louisa May Alcott? What about Emily Bronte or Anne Bronte? What do these four authors have in common? They all used a male pseudonym sometime in their life. (Web Design)

In eighteenth and nineteenth century Germany, it is said that atleast fifty percent of women authors have used a male pseudonym sometime in their life. There was a larger of amount of female authors in the nineteenth century due to the fact that there were male pseudonyms being used. (33)

Not all female authors wrote during the eighteenth or nineteenth century, so their reason for psedonyms may be differnt. Pseudonyms were not only used to hide someones' gender, they were used to renmain annonymous, or to write different genres. An author would choose to remain annonymous if they wrote something personal, political, sexual, or religious. Karen Blixen came from a Danish family that was well known and that was her reason for using a pseudonym. If an author wants to try to write a different genre than what they are known for, and then they will use a pseudonym. (Daily Writing Tips) Nora Roberts and Alice Bradley Sheldon both wanted to write a different genre than what they are known for. In order for their fans not to get confused, they wrote under a false name. Nora wrote under J.D. Robb and Alice wrote under James Tiptree, Jr. (Divine Caroline pg.2)

These two ladies aren't the only authors with male pseudonyms and there are many more reasons as to why a female author would use a male name. The author may not even choose to use a false name. They are led to believe that if they use their original name, the book wouldn't sell. Joanne Rowling (J.K. Rowling) was told by her publisher that she needed to change her name on the book that made her famous, Harry Potter. She was told to do so because her publisher didn't think that the book would sell to the audience they were targeting, young boys. (Web Design) Ann Rule (Andy Stack) is another female author who was told to use a male pseudonym. (Divine Caroline pg.3)

The use of pseudonyms is vast and using one can be a good thing at times. You are able to write



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