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By Stephen Smith

An Inkwell of Pen Names tells the tales of a hundred authors' pen names in 100 brief chapters. Many different authors who used pen names are mentioned by the way. positive aspects of the compendium comprise pen names starting with each letter of the alphabet, authors from twenty-five nations, the recipients of the Nobel Prize for literature who used pseudonyms, and a balanced number of women and men authors.

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His experiences in other countries provided material for many of the one hundred and twenty-six books and close to one thousand stories he wrote. He began writing in his spare time, but after working twenty years in the public schools he gave up that career to devote more time to his work as an author. None of Adams’ works were published under his real name. As soon as he began writing he saw fit to make Oliver Optic his pen name. The name was his adaptation of Dr. Optic, a character in a play that was in performance in Boston at that time.

Gabriele D’Annunzio (1863-1938) was an Italian dramatist, novelist, and poet. Frédéric Mistral (1830-1914) was a French poet and Nobel Prize laureate who wrote in Provençal, a dialect of southern France and the language of the troubadors in the Middle Ages, in an effort to revive it as a literary language. Some biographers believe that Alcayaga derived her pen name from these two authors whose writing she liked. Alcayaga combined the feminine form of Gabriele with the surname Mistral to form the pseudonym, Gabriela Mistral.

Two poems published in the Adelphi in 1934 appeared under the author’s real name. Afterwards, for literary purposes, Eric Blair became George Orwell. Eventually, Orwellian became an adjective to describe the kind of dystopia the author envisioned in Nineteen Eighty-Four (published in 1948). A friend of Orwell’s wrote, “I once asked him if he had ever thought of legally adopting his nom de guerre. ’” Michael Field (Katherine Harris Bradley) 1848-1914(Edith Emma Cooper) 1862-1913 I am thankful that my name is obnoxious to no pun.

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