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Twenty-five classic novels by female writers will be re-released as free ebooks to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Women's Prize for Fiction. Image: courtesy of Baileys and the Women's Prize for Fiction via AFP Relaxnews

Vernon Lee, George Eliot, fellow female authors reclaim their names in new ebook initiative

August 14th, 2020

The Reclaim Her Name initiative, sponsored by Baileys, has recently been launched to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Women’s Prize for Fiction.

Twenty-five classic novels by female writers, previously published under male pseudonyms, will be re-released for the first time with the real name of the author on the cover in an effort to “honor their achievements and give them the credit they deserve.”

Baileys

Image: courtesy of Baileys and the Women’s Prize for Fiction via AFP Relaxnews

More than 3,000 pseudonymous writers were considered by a team of researchers commissioned by Baileys for inclusion in the collection, which features classic novels such as “Middlemarch” by Mary Ann Evans (aka George Eliot) and “A Phantom Lover” by Violet Paget (aka Vernon Lee).

“Indiana” by 19th-century author Amantine Aurore Dupin, who is best known under her male pen name George Sand, will also be re-released as a free ebook.

Also included in the collection are “Marie of the Cabin Club” by Ann Petry (aka Arnold Petri), “Keynotes” by Mary Bright (aka George Egerton), as well as “A Diplomat’s Diary” by Julia Cruger (aka Julien Gordon).

“When I was asked if my mother’s work could be included within such a worthy collection of books along with other impressive female writers, I was honoured. I’m incredibly proud of my mother’s work and it excites me that her writing has been introduced to a new audience through this collection. I know she would be thrilled to be a part of this as it’s an incredible conversation starter for such an important cause,” Liz Petry, daughter of Anne Petry, said in a statement.

Additionally, all novels of the “Reclaim Her Name” collection will feature a new modern cover designed by a selection of female illustrators from all over the world, including Brazil, Russia, Jordan and Germany.

“Baileys has been a sponsor of the Women’s Prize for Fiction for many years now and together we have been dedicated to honouring, celebrating and championing women’s writing. Together, 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,” Kate Mosse, who is the founder and director of the Women’s Prize for Fiction, commented.

Now in its 25th edition, the Women’s Prize for Fiction celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in writing by women. Previous winners include Zadie Smith, Tayari Jones and Lionel Shriver. IB

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