Monday, August 24, 2015


Ever consider that most of us don’t necessarily know the first name of the authors of such classics as The Hobbit, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Wizard of Oz, Curious George, Mary Poppins, Charlotte’s Web, and Winnie the Pooh? Or The Catcher in the Rye? Or The War of the Worlds? Or, for that matter, The Sixth Sense?

Oh, and the Harry Potter series, too. Joanne Rowling was asked by her publisher to adopt a more masculine pen name. So she borrowed her grandmother’s name (Kathleen) and became forever famous as J.K. Rowling. Much the same process happened with Susan Eloise (better known as S.E.) Hinton, author of The Outsiders.

So let’s take a tour of initials and explore the real names behind some literary icons.

1. J.R.R. Tolkien (John Ronald Reuel)
2. W.E.B. Du Bois (William Edward Burghardt)
3. J.K. Rowling (Joanne Kathleen)
4. C.S. Lewis (Clive Staples)
5. E.B. White (Elwyn Brooks)
      6. H.G. Wells (Herbert George)

7. J.D. Salinger (Jerome David)
8. R.L. Stine (Robert Lawrence)
9. H.A. Rey (Hans Augusto)
10. E.E. Cummings (Edward Estlin)
11. A.E. Housman (Alfred Edward)
12. E.M. Forster (Edward Morgan)
13. J.M. Barrie (James Matthew)
14. P.L. Travers (Pamela Lyndon)
15. V.S. Naipaul (Vidiadhar Surajprasad)
16. D.H. Lawrence (David Herbert)
17. G.K. Chesterton (Gilbert Keith)
18. E.L. Doctorow (Edgar Lawrence)
19. T.S. Eliot (Thomas Stearns)
20. S.E. Hinton (Susan Eloise)

21. W.H. Auden (Wystan Hugh)
22. J.M. Coetzee (John Maxwell)
23. P.G. Wodehouse (Pelham Grenville)
24. H.L. Mencken (Henry Lewis)
25. V.C. Andrews (Cleo Virginia)
26. P.D. James (Phyllis Dorothy)
27. A.A. Milne (Alan Alexander)

      28. W.B. Yeats (William Butler)
29. L.M. Montgomery (Lucy Maud)
30. E.L. Konigsburg (Elaine Lobl)
31. P.J. O’Rourke (Patrick Jake)
32. T.H. White (Terence Hanbury)
33. L. Frank Baum (Lyman)
34. L. Ron Hubbard (Lafayette)
35. M. Night Shyamalan (Manoj)

And just so we don’t neglect any middle names, here are five more than might have made you curious:

36. Arthur C. Clarke (Charles)
37. Hunter S. Thompson (Stockton)
38. Ernest J. Gaines (James)
39. Philip K. Dick (Kindred)
40. George R.R. Martin (Raymond Richard)

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