Download Anonymity: A Secret History of English Literature by John Mullan PDF

By John Mullan

The various maximum works in English literature have been first released with no their authors' names. Why did such a lot of authors are looking to be anonymous--and what used to be it wish to learn their books with no understanding for sure who had written them? In Anonymity, John Mullan provides a desirable and unique historical past of hidden id in English literature. From the 16th century to at the present time, he explores how the disguises of writers have been first used and finally penetrated, how anonymity teased readers and bamboozled critics--and how, while e-book stories have been additionally nameless, reviewers performed tips in their personal in go back. this present day we've forgotten that the 1st readers of Gulliver's Travels and experience and Sensibility needed to bet who their authors should be, and that writers like Sir Walter Scott and Charlotte Bront went to intricate lengths to maintain mystery their authorship of the best-selling books in their instances. yet, in reality, anonymity is far and wide in English literature. Spenser, Donne, Marvell, Defoe, rapid, Fanny Burney, Austen, Byron, Thackeray, Lewis Carroll, Tennyson, George Eliot, Sylvia Plath, and Doris Lessing--all concealed their names. With nice lucidity and wit, Anonymity tells the tales of those and plenty of different writers, supplying a fast paced, unique, and informative travel in the course of the heritage of English literature.

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Scott kept the circle of those who knew the secret as small as possible. When Waverley first appeared, only John Ballantyne, his brother James, whose printing company was to be responsible for most of Scott’s subsequent work, William Erskine, a lifelong associate and fellow Edinburgh lawyer, and his friend and favoured correspondent John Morritt were told. Lockhart says that even five years after the publication of Waverley, Scott’s wife was the only member of his family who knew that he was the novelist.

The 10:37:15:11:07 Page 46 Page 47 modesty 47 English literary renaissance is sometimes taken to have begun with a work, Edmund Spenser’s The Shepheardes Calender (), that modestly appeared without its author’s name. Its title page did have an important name on it: its patron’s. The volume was dedicated to ‘The Noble and Virtuous Gentleman most worthy of all titles both of learning and chevalrie M.  Sidney was the model Elizabethan courtier: soldier, man of literature, and enthusiastic Protestant.

Andrew Heyward, president of the television company, wrote in the memorandum to his staff announcing the resignation that he was ‘deeply troubled to learn along with the rest of you that Joe had not been truthful with us or, more importantly, the public’. The anonymity of Primary Colors was well judged because it encouraged the very curiosity that it seemed to frustrate. Even if the indignation of Klein’s fellow journalists appears ridiculous, some of their irritation might be understandable. Klein’s initial protest that he had hidden his identity because he was not sure how his fiction would be received was surely disingenuous.

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