Quiz: Do you know authors’ real names?

We all know that author’s sometimes publish books under pen names. In the past, many female authors published under male pen names for example – like the Brontë sisters. Anne used Acton Bell, Charlotte was Currer Bell and Emily was Ellis Bell. It’s still done today, from time to time. Rowling for example, decided to put J. K. Rowling on her books instead of her full first name. Pen names can also be used to combat cultural or political prejudices, to protect the author from retribution.

Secondly, pen names are also used to distinguish writers or their work. For example, if their name resembles another author or famous person. Or if an author writes in different genres and wants to distinguish their work. Like Nora Roberts, romance writer, and her pen name J. D. Robb for mystery novels. Besides distinguishing the work, it can also be used for famous authors to get honest reviews about new work – like Rowling did when publishing her detective series Cormoran Strike under the name Robert Galbraith.

And thirdly, when author teams write books together, they sometimes have a pen name that groups them. Like Edward Fallon, which is a group of authors (Robert Gregory Browne, J.D. Rhoades, Tim Tresslar, Will Graham, Rob Cornell, Allan Leverone) that wrote the supernatural series Linger. Or Nicci French, British crime fiction team Nicci Gerard and Sean French.

Do you know the real names of your favourite authors? Then try out this quiz!

Lemony Snicket wrote A Series of Unfortunate Events under a pseudonym – what is the author’s real name?

  • Daniel Snipet
  • Daniel Handler
  • Liam Snickers
  • Count Olaf

Joanne K Rowling wrote the Harry Potter series, but what does the initial K stand for?

  • Kate
  • Karyn
  • She doesn’t have a middle name
  • Just K

Darren Shan wrote The Saga of Darren Shan – what is the author’s real name?

  • Darren O’Shaughnessy
  • Darren O’Shanbe
  • Deril O’Brien
  • Des Tiny

What is the real name of Lewis Carroll, author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland?

  • Lewis Stevens
  • Gordon McCarthy
  • Charles Lutwidge Dodgson
  • Hugh Carroll

Dr Seuss wrote The Cat in the Hat. Who is Dr Seuss really?

  • Theodor Seuss Geisel
  • Timothy Thing Two
  • Trevor Seuss
  • Horton Seuss Who

Mark Twain wrote The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, but what is his real name?

  • Tom Sawyer
  • Mark Simon Twain
  • Clement Arnette
  • Samuel Langhorne Clemens

Beatrix Potter wrote The Tale of Peter Rabbit. What’s her real name?

  • Beatrix McGregor
  • Helen Beatrix Potter
  • Beatrice Potter
  • Harry Potter

CS Lewis wrote The Chronicles of Narnia – what do his initials stand for?

  • Carl Silver Lewis
  • Charlie Sam Lewis
  • Cathy Samantha Lewis
  • Clive Staples Lewis

Hergé wrote and drew The Adventures of Tintin – what was his real name?

  • Harold Stark Tintin
  • Gerald Prosper Remi
  • Georges Prosper Remi
  • Xavier Tintin York

AA Milne wrote Winnie-the-Pooh – what was his full name?

  • Alan Alexander Milne
  • Christopher Robin Milne
  • Arthur Albert Milne
  • Albert Eeyore Milne

Happy reading,

Loes M.

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