Classic Novel Re-released under Author’s Real Name

Category: Lifestyle/Entertainment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. pseudonym / ˈsud n ɪm / (n) – a name used in place of someone’s real name

    My professor wrote his controversial article under a pseudonym.

  2. accolade / ˈæk əˌleɪd / (n) – any award, honor, or praise

    The researchers received several accolades for their study on eco-friendly alternatives to plastic.

  3. installment / ɪnˈstɔl mənt / (n) – one part of a long work, such as a book series, a TV program, etc.

    The next installment of my favorite TV series will be released on Friday.

  4. fictitious / fɪkˈtɪʃ əs / (adj) – made up or not real

    They tried to call him, but they found out that he gave a fictitious number.

  5. walk of life / wɔk ʌv laɪf / (idiom) – the social status or position that someone has

    The concert is free, so people from all walks of life can go to it.


Read the text below.

George Eliot’s famous classic novel Middlemarch has been republished under the author’s real name.

The author Mary Ann Evans used a male pseudonym to sell more books. Her book Middlemarch, which received several accolades, was originally published in eight installments from 1871 to 1872. The novel narrated what provincial life looked like in the fictitious town of Middlemarch. The story featured characters from different walks of life and focused on the struggles of the main character Dorothea with her marriage.

Under the pseudonym George Eliot, Evans also authored Adam Bede, The Mill on the Floss, and Silas Marner.

Middlemarch is only one of 25 titles by female authors re-released under their writers’ real names. The practice of using male pseudonyms was common among 19th-century female authors. Other authors who did the same include Violet Paget, whose pen name was Vernon Lee, Charlotte Brontë, who originally published Jane Eyre as Currer Bell, and her sister Emily, who wrote Wuthering Heights under the name Ellis Bell.

The re-publication of the classic novels is part of the Reclaim Her Name campaign, which marks the 25th anniversary of the Women’s Prize for Fiction. Novelist Kate Mosse launched the Women’s Prize in 1996 to recognize female writers.

E-books of titles under the Reclaim Her Name collection can be downloaded for free. In addition, physical copies of the books with cover art by female designers have been donated to the British Library.

According to the organization behind the project, the Reclaim Her Name initiative was started to make women writers more visible, give them the credit that they deserve, and encourage conversations about the challenges they have faced in the literary field.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Why do you think some writers choose to use a pseudonym? Discuss.
• If fans or readers find out that a writer used a pseudonym, should they try to find out the author’s real identity? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• If you were to write your own book, what kind of book would it be? Discuss.
• Would you write it in your native language or in English? Why?