a history of pseudonyms

Thomas Chatterton was an English poet and forger of pseudo-medieval poetry. He committed suicide, dying of arsenic poisoning when he was only 17.

The first of his literary mysteries, the dialogue of “Elinoure and Juga,” was written before he was 12, at the boarding school Colston’s Hospital where he was a pupil, pretending it was the work of a 15th-century poet.

His little pocket-money was spent on borrowing books from a circulating library; and he ingratiated himself with book collectors, in order to obtain access to Thomas Speght’s edition of Chaucer, Spenser and other books.

Chatterton soon conceived the romance of Thomas Rowley, an imaginary monk of the 15th century, and adopted for himself the pseudonym Thomas Rowley for poetry and history.

He struggled to find a patron, moved to London… His death was not big news at the time, but later, Keats, Shelly, Rossetti and many others dedicated their works to him.

Read the rest of his interesting life (and death) story here.

image: The Death of Chatterton, 1856, by Henry Wallis, the most famous image of Chatterton in the 19th century

I was trying to go to bed but I kept thinking about the happily ever afters.

How Stone wants to be able to share his knowledge and save the world-or history, anyway- with his friends, as himself, not under a pseudonym

How Eve, who spent most of her life with no permanent home, wants to live in a small town with a few close friends, a town small enough that she knows everybody, a place she is in charge of protecting, someplace small and unassuming and easily defensible (since you can only get there by boat) and how significant that is after her time with the counterterrorism task force

How Ezekiel wants to be the good guy everyone can rely on, that everyone respects, who does the good guy stuff but it has all the excitement of the bad guy stuff

How Flynn just wants to solve puzzles to help his friends, how he doesn’t want to have to rely on anyone but wants to be the one everyone can rely on

How Cassandra’s happily ever after was the life she might have had if not for the tumor; how she was also military when in the first season she’s the one who reminded Eve they weren’t soldiers; how Cassandra’s happily ever after was being a scientist and groundbreaking astronaut and TEACHING CHILDREN ABOUT SCIENCE AND MATH AND SPECIFICALLY INSPIRING GIRLS AND WOMEN

How Cassandra might not have had the tumor in the happily ever afters, and how Cassandra, Ezekiel, and Jake all fought the spell because “my friends need me”



Louisa May Alcott died this day in 1888. More than 145 years after the publication of Little Women, Alcott’s eight novels for what is now called the “young adult” audience have never gone out of print. Alcott was the intellectual protégé of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. In the 1940s it was revealed that Alcott also wrote 30 pulp fiction thrillers (featuring murderers, revolutionaries, cross-dressers and opium addicts) under the pseudonym A.M. Barnard!

Women’s History Month - March 13th

Malala Yousafzai was first known under the pseudonym Gul Makai when in 2009, she, with the help of a BBC radio correspondent, wrote a blog about life for Pakistani females under Taliban rule for the BBC Urdu website. Malala became better known when she starred in the documentary Class Dismissed in Swat Valley, detailing her last days of school before the Taliban ban on girls’ schools. After the Pakistani army intervened, many of the laws enforced by the Taliban were lifted, including the school ban, but the Taliban influence never left. Death threats were later issued against Malala, and on October 9, 2012, she was shot in the head and neck at the age of 15. Malala Yousafzai was given “a second life” when she managed to recover from her critical condition and international outrage gave fire to her cause, sparking the I am Malala movement, which later became the title of her 2013 memoir. Today, Malala is an international activist for children’s education and women, giving talks to policy makers and audiences across the globe. Malala has received many honors for her activist work, including nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013 and 2014. Though she is still considered a threat to the Taliban, Malala will never be silenced again.


Ernest Koliqi

Born in Shkodra, Albania where he also attended his first lessons in the Shkodër Jesuit College, Koliqi moved to Italy to study in Brescia and then at the University of Padua, and become knowledgeable in Albanian folk history. He began to write under pseudonyms, such as “Hilushi”, “Hilush Vilza” and “Borizani”. In the 1920s and 1930s Koliqi was the founder of leading magazines in Albania, such as the Illyria magazine, and other magazines, which covered geography and culture in the country. He also was Minister of Education at the time of the Albanian Kingdom during World War II, when he sent two hundred teachers to establish Albanian schools in Kosovo. As a writer many of his literary works were banned even though he had political connections, which is partly why they were banned for this very reason because of his political views. He became creative in prose, and together with Mitrush Kuteli are considered the founder of modern Albanian prose. He translated into Albanian the works of the great Italian great poets: Dante Alighieri, Petrarch, Ludovico Ariosto, Torquato Tasso, Giuseppe Parini, Vincenzo Monti, and Ugo Foscolo. He distinguished himself in the translation of an anthology of Italian poetry in 1963. In his books such as Hija e Maleve (English: The Shadow of the Mountains)(1929), Tregtar flamujsh English: Flags’ Merchant) (1935) and Pasqyrat e Narçizit (English: The Mirrors of Narcissus)(1936), Koliqi brings a unique spirituality to Albanian literature. He died in Rome in 1975.