I got to wondering the other day . . . what names exist behind the renowned authors who go by their initials? I'm sure most of us know C. S. Lewis and J. K. Rowling, but as I delved in, I realized just how many there are!
A. A. Milne~ Most famous in my mind for penning Winnie the Pooh, this gentleman's real name was Alan Alexander. Sounds pretty classy to me, but initials were the way to go in that era.
C. S. Lewis~ As I'm sure you all know, this inspiring writer wrote everything from The Chronicles of Narnia to Christian theology and Greek mythology books. His real name was Clive Staples. I can understand why he might want to go by his initials :)
E. B. White~ I know this man for Charlotte's Web and The Elements of Style (which I highly recommend). His true name has to be one of my favorites: Elwyn Brooks White. How neat is that?!
E. E. Cummings~ I know him for his poetry. Again, he offers some name inspiration with his Edward Estlin Cummings.
F. Scott Fitzgerald~ Known most prominently for The Great Gatsby, this gentleman was named Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald after . . . (you guessed it!) the man who penned The Star-Spangled Banner.
H. G. Wells~ Author of some pretty clever Sci-Fi, such as The Time Machine and War of the Worlds, his actual name was Herbert George Wells.
J. D. Salinger~ Known for The Catcher in the Rye, which I do not recommend even cracking open, his first name removes some of the uniqueness of his last: Jerome David. His father was of Jewish Lithuanian descent, shedding some light on his naming :)
J. K. Rowling~ Whether you read Harry Potter or not, I'm sure you know that is what made this author famous. These initials stand for Joanne Kathleen, the middle name being added only for publishing purposes and taken from Rowling's grandmother. Like most women pseudonyms, she didn't necessarily want her readers knowing she was a woman.
J. M. Barrie~ He tends to be less well known, but was the screenwriter for Peter Pan and is the character portrayed by Johnny Depp in Finding Neverland. (I heartily recommend this movie!) His name was James Matthew Barrie, which sounds very British in my opinion.
J. R. R. Tolkien~ Obviously the author of The Lord of the Rings and good friends with C. S. Lewis, this author's full name was John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. His third name reminds me of the style he used in naming his own characters.
L. Frank Baum~ Author of The Wizard of Oz, his first name was Lyman. Not being favorable to his first name, he used his initial. I personally don't find it much worse than Frank . . .
L. M. Montgomery~ Another female author who made the list, Lucy Maud Montgomery was known for writing Anne of Green Gables and its many sequels. I'm not exactly sure why she used her initials because she is known just as well by her full name.
P. L. Travers~ If you saw the movie Saving Mr. Banks, you will know that this woman penned Mary Poppins. The interesting thing was, these were initials for her pseudonym, Pamela Lyndon Travers. She was actually born Helen Lyndon Goff. Her father's name was Travers and Pamela was her own choice.
T. S. Eliot~ While I'm not certain I've ever read anything of his, I am familiar with his initialed name. His full name was Thomas Stearns Eliot. It always throws me for a loop that his last name has only one 'l'.
W. B. Yeats~ A beautiful poet whom you should all research, his initials stood for William Butler, which sounds to me like a great character name. Down by the Salley Garden is one of my favorites!
W. H. Auden~ A name I am less familiar with, this man was an American poet. Quite frankly, his name was poetic: Wystan Hugh Auden. He was born to be an artist!
I have to say Elwyn, Estlin, and Wystan are all very awesome names! Reuel, Lyndon, and Travers all offer interesting choices as well. I may have to pull some of these out as character names! If I had a name half that unique, I think I would use it instead of my initials.
That aside, how many of these were new to you? Are there any of your favorites that I forgot?