Mystery Initials

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff

Full names of famous authors

tracked down by Holly Hartman

Ever wonder what the two R's stand for in J. R. R. Tolkien? Curious about whether S. E. Hinton is a man or a woman? It used to be common for authors to use only their initials-it was a touch of formality that was considered suitable behavior in the lofty profession of writer. However, some female have authors used their initials in order to hide their gender. For example, Joanne Kathleen Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, and her publisher decided to call her "J. K." so that her books would have greater appeal to boys. Until Rowling became a celebrity, many readers assumed that Harry's creator was a man.

The Hobbit
“Maybe John Ronald Ruel didn't fit on the book cover?!”
  • J. M. Barrie
    Known for: Peter Pan
    Full name: James Matthew Barrie
  • L. Frank Baum
    Known for: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
    Full name: Lyman Frank Baum
  • L. M. Boston
    Known for: Green Knowe series
    Full name: Lucy Maria Boston
  • S. E. Hinton
    Known for: The Outsiders
    Full name: Susan Eloise Hinton
  • E. L. Konigsburg
    Known for: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
    Full name: Elaine Lobl Konigsburg
  • C. S. Lewis
    Known for: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
    Full name: Clive Staples Lewis
  • A. A. Milne
    Known for: Winnie the Pooh
    Full name: Alan Alexander Milne
  • F. N. Monjo
    Known for: The Drinking Gourd
    Full name: Ferdinand Nicholas Monjo
  • L. M. Montgomery
    Known for: Anne of Green Gables
    Full name: Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • E. Nesbit
    Known for: Five Children and It
    Full name: Edith Nesbit
  • H. A. Rey
    Known for: Curious George
    Full name: Hans Augusto Rey
  • J. K. Rowling
    Known for: Harry Potter series
    Full name: Joanne Kathleen Rowling
  • R. L. Stine
    Known for: Goosebumps series
    Full name: Robert Lawrence Stine
  • J. R. R. Tolkien
    Known for: The Hobbit
    Full name: John Ronald Reuel Tolkien
  • P. L. Travers
    Known for: Mary Poppins
    Full name: Pamela Lyndon Travers
  • E. B. White
    Known for: Charlotte's Web
    Full name: Elwyn Brooks White
  • T. H. White
    Known for: The Sword in the Stone
    Full name: Terence Hanbury White
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