Baileys launches ‘Reclaim Her Name’ campaign

Although the year 2020 turned to be an unfortunate one in many ways, female authors around the world were able to find a silver lining. It marked the beginning of a movement to help them their voice. Yes, we are talking about the ‘Reclaim Her Name’ campaign.

For breaking into male-dominated genres or to escape gender bias, throughout history many women have published their books under male or gender-neutral pseudonyms. Much has changed since then, but these books continue to be published under their male pen names.

In a bid to rectify it, Women’s Prize for Friction, along with its sponsor Baileys, re-released the books of 25 female authors with their names for the first time. The book covers too were revamped and illustrated by women.

The series known as “The Reclaim Her Name’ marked the 25th anniversary of the Women’s Prize for Friction. It is aimed at initiating conversations regarding the reasons many female authors had to hide their real names.

One of the books that has been re-released is the classic “Middlemarch”. More than 149 years since its publication, many still do not know that George Eliot was actually the pen name of author Mary Ann Evans.

Born in 1819, Evans adopted a male pseudonym when George Henry Lewes – the English philosopher and critic – encouraged her to take up writing fiction. Evans believed that a male pen name would help her overcome gender bias.

Ironically, “Middlemarch” is a story about women stifled by a patriarchal society.

Some of the books:

  • “Middlemarch” Mary Ann Evans (pseudonym George Eliot)
  • “Marie of the Cabin Club” – Ann Petry (Arnold Petri)
  • “Indiana” – Amantine Aurore Dupin (George Sand)
  • “The Life of Martin R. Delany” – Frances Rollin Whipper (Frank A. Rollin)
  • “Keynotes” Mary Bright (George Egerton)
  • “Attila, My Attila!” – Edith Cooper and Katherine Bradley (Michael Field)
  • “Painted Clay” – Doris Boake Kerr (Capel Boake)
  • “For Our Country” – Fatemeh Soltan Khanum Farahami (Shahein Farahani)
  • “Atla – Story of a lost Island” by Ann Smith (J Gregory Smith)
  • “Twilight” – Julia Frankau (Frank Danby)
  • “The Silence of Dean Maitland” – Mary Tuttiett (Maxwell Gray)
  • “The Head of Medusa” – Julia Constance Fletcher (George Fleming)
  • “Cecilia De Noel” – Mary Hawker (Lanoe Falconer)
  • “Echoes from Mist-land” – Aubertine Woodward Moore (Auber Forestier)
  • “Valerie Aylmer” – Frances Tierman (Christian Reid)
  • “A Diplomat’s Diary” – Julia Cruger (Julien Gordon)
  • “The Roadmender” – Margaret Fairless Barber (Michael Fairless)


Picture Credit : Google