Now 2023 Previous Articles Road Essays Road Reviews Author Black Authors Title Source Age Genre Series Format Inclusivity LGBTA Portfolio Artwork WIP

Recent posts

Month in review

Anonymity by John Mullan
Baby Proof by Emily Giffin
A Barnstormer in Oz by Philip José Farmer
Bastard Tongues by Derek Bickerton
The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald
Foiled by Jane Yolen
Fort Clay, Louisiana: A Tragical History by Albert E. Cowdrey
The Frog Comrade by Benjamin Rosenbaum
Fundaments of Geographic Information Systems by Michael DeMers
Gallop by Rufus Butler Seder
Here Are My Hands by Bill Martin Jr.
Indigo Blue by Cathy Cassidy
Information Seeking
in Electronic Environments
by Gary Marchionini
The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry
Looking for Lost Bird by Yvette Melanson
Lucifer Rising by Barbara Fifield
Northward to the Moon by Polly Horvath
On the Bluffs by Steven Schindler
The Osiris Alliance by Jack Ford
Otto's Orange Day by Jay Lynch
Patricia von Pleasantsquirrel by James Proimos
Peekaboo Baby by Rachel Isadora
Pinkalicious: Tickled Pink by Victoria Kann
The Portable MLIS edited by Ken Haycock and Brooke Sheldon
Remotest Mansions of the Blood by Alex Irvine
A Short History of Rudeness by Mark Caldwell
Silence by Dale Bailey
Ten Tiny Babies by Karen Katz
Textual Poachers by Henry Jenkins
Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris by R. L. LaFevers
A Touch of Dead by Charlaine Harris

Previous Month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

Beat the Backlist 2023

Canadian Book Challenge: 2022-2023

Chicken Art

Privacy policy

This blog does not collect personal data. It doesn't set cookies. Email addresses are used to respond to comments or "contact us" messages and then deleted.

Anonymity: A Secret History of English Literature: 01/13/11

cover art

I spotted Anonymity: A Secret History of English Literature by John Mullan at the library right after I had been part of a couple interesting discussions on male vs. female authorship. What had come up in all the discussions was that it's not always easy to guess the sex of an author especially if the author is writing either anonymously or under a pen name. So in light of those online discussions, I checked out Mullan's book.

Each chapter covers a different reason for writing anonymously. The chapters include examples of authors who fall into the category being illustrated. There are lengthy notes and citations to back up the examples.

In fact I have to admit to being surprised by the scholarly nature of the book. The cover's light-hearted illustrations of all sorts of authors and the blurb in the dust-jacket set up an expectation of an informative but quick read. The book ended up requiring more time than I had budgeted.

Sometime when I have more time and I'm in the right mood to really think about the nature of authorship, pen names and anonymity, I would like to revisit the book. If you are interested in the topic and are considering reading the book yourself, I recommend you read the review posted on The Daily Waffle Blog (included below).

Comments (0)

Lab puppy
Email (won't be posted):
Blog URL:

Twitter Tumblr Mastadon Flickr Facebook Facebook Contact me

1997-2023 Sarah Sammis