Authors real names and their famous pen names

Written by    Last updated: March 26, 2007

Writers choose to change their name or write under a pseudonym for a variety of reasons…

Certain authors have used pen names, or ‘nom de plume’, for some or all of their work.  The reason could be to experiment with a new genre without upsetting their regular readers or in the case of several female authors, to be taken more seriously. It could also be used to protect the identity of the author for a political or religiously sensitive work.

Here are some authors who have written under a different name:

Author’s Pen name or Pseudonym Author’s real name
Richard Bachman Stephen King
L. Frank Baum Edith Van Dyne
Nicholas Blake Cecil Day Lewis
Anne Brontë Acton Bell
Charlotte Brontë Currer Bell
Emily Brontë Ellis Bell
Anthony Burgess John ['Jack'] Burgess Wilson
John le Carre David John Moore Cornwell
Lewis Carroll Charles Lutwidge Dodgson
George Eliot Mary Ann Evans
Hergé Georges Remi
Molière Jean Baptiste Poquelin
George Orwell Eric Arthur Blair
Ellery Queen Frederic Dannay (with co‐author/cousin)
Manfred B. Lee
J.D. Robb Nora Roberts
A. N. Roquelaure Anne Rice
Saki Hector Hugh Munro
George Sand Amandine Dupin
Dr. Seuss Theodor Geisel
Lemony Snicket Daniel Handler
Stendhal Marie Henri Beyle
Mark Twain Samuel Langhorn Clemens
Barbara Vine Ruth Rendell
Voltaire François‐Marie Arouet
Mary Westmacott Dame Agatha Christie

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