Baileys and the Women’s Prize for Fiction have launched ‘Reclaim Her Name’ – a collection of 25 novels first published by women writers using noms de plume, re-released for the first time under their authors’ own names.
The collection includes 25 novels by women writers, including the first-ever publication of the classic Middlemarch under George Eliot's real name, Mary Ann Evan.
The campaign aims to ignite a new conversation around persistent challenges to women’s contributions to literature past and present.
The 25-book series was created by VMLY&R, and features newly commissioned cover artwork from female designers from around the world.
To create the collection, agency‘s team carefully selected each of the 25 books – searching archives, online and university resources to identify female writers who disguised their gender with pseudonyms.
Although attitudes have significantly changed in today’s literary world, female authors still experience gender bias. Though some still use male pseudonyms by choice, others do so as a way to level the playing field or because they need to conceal their identity.
Women‘s Prize for Fiction founder and director Kate Mosse said of the collection: “We’re incredibly excited by the ‘Reclaim Her Name‘ campaign – it’s a lovely way to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Prize, by doing what we always strive to do – empowering women, igniting conversations and ensuring that they get the recognition they deserve”.
Tamryn Kerr, creative director at VMLY&R, said: “Many of the authors we selected were suffragettes and staunch feminists. I’d like to think of this project as our way of thanking them for what they did for us — and of supporting a new generation of artists through the new cover art that 13 inspiring female illustrators, from all over the world, created for the ‘Reclaim Her Name‘ collection.”
: 'Reclaim Her Name'