Harkive: ‘Pseudonyms’

Source: Manchester Times, Saturday 7 June 1890, p. 6. Accessible via British Newspapers 1600-1950.

 

Afternoon Chat

(by our Lady Contributors)

Why is it that literary women are so fond of pseudonyms? At the literary ladies’ dinner last week quite half the guests were announced by names other than their own. For instance, Mrs. L. T. Meade, the authoress of “Scamp and I” and other well-known stories, is, in reality, Mrs. Toulmin Smith; and Miss Helena B. Temple and Miss Veva Karsland answer to other names in their home circles. Some years ago, when Miss Evans adopted the name of George Eliot, there was reason for the change, for women had better chance of securing a hearing while masquerading under men’s names, but this reason holds good no longer, and “Cyril Bennett” might just as well confess to being Miss Rose Ingleby, and “John Law” to being Miss Margaret Harkness. Then why should Miss Keddie call herself Sarah Tytler, or Mrs. Brydes call herself Mrs. Forrester? We commend the courage of those women who dare to write under their own names from the very first, and do not puzzle their readers by putting their real names in brackets after success is secured.

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