Mistermuse, having come up just a tad short of becoming a world-famous author himself, thought his real self and I would write a post about pen names of other reputed writers, including a quiz about how many real names of pseudonymous authors you can identify, such as the one everyone knows: Mark Twain / Samuel Clemens.
But in the course of doing a little research, we came across the Nom de Pun of a legendary wee person of English folklore, Tom Thumb, who (though not an author) is the subject of many an author’s works, starting with The History of Tom Thumb, first published in 1621. Two-plus centuries later, showman P. T. Barnum took advantage of that famous character’s name by featuring “General Tom Thumb” (dwarf Charles Sherwood Stratton) as his star attraction …. which led us further down the sidetrack of character names of famous dwarfs, such as “Tattoo” (Herve Villechaize) of Fantasy Island fame and “Mini-Me” (Verne Troyer) in The Spy Who Shagged Me.” But enough about Mini-Me (and Tattoo and Tom Thumb), and back to the business at hand: pen names of renowned writers.
Following the famous nom de plume of each author (in caps below) is the real name of another author on the list. How many of these mismatched names can you re-match correctly?
ARTEMUS WARD / Eric Blair
GEORGE SAND / Charles Dodgson
GEORGE ELIOT / Aurore Dupin
LEWIS CARROLL / Victoria Lucas
SYLVIA PLATH / Karen Blixen
GEORGE ORWELL / Cecil Smith
ISAK DINESEN / Mary Anne Evans
ANATOLE FRANCE / Francois Marie Arouet
SIDNEY SHELDON / Daniel Foe
O. HENRY / Charles Farrar Browne
ANNE RICE / Sidney Schechtel
AYN RAND / Howard Allen Frances O’Brien
C. S. FORESTER / William Sydney Porter
VOLTAIRE/ Jacque Anatole Thibault
DANIEL DEFOE / Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum
But what about the real name of mistermuse, you ask. Are you ready for the big announcement?
Sorry for the typo — I meant “pig announcement.”