Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens, JK Rowling publishes her mystery novels as Robert Galbraith, Isaac Asimov wrote several books as Paul French, and John le Carre was born David John Moore Cornwell.
For some, using a pen name is a way to escape the hype and expectations that come with using their own name, while for others writing under their own name wasn’t an option due to the perceived gender roles or professional etiquette. James Alfred Wright, for example, wrote about being a veterinarian under the pen name Jame Herriot, and Michael Crichton used several aliases to keep his medical profession apart from his early writing career.
The following infographic by Jonkers Rare Books lists a couple dozen authors and their pseudonyms.
Do you see one that should be included? Let me know in the comments.
image by JefferyTurner