Anonymity in publishing  

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Traité des trois imposteurs by anonymous (date unknown, edition shown 1777)
Traité des trois imposteurs by anonymous (date unknown, edition shown 1777)

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Throughout the history of literature, since the creation of bound texts in the forms of books and (initially) codices, various works have been published anonymously, often due to their political or controversial nature. This is a list of literary works published anonymously, either attributed to "Anonymous", or with no specific author's name given. For works where a pseudonym was used, see instead the list of works published under a pseudonym.

It should be noted that not included in this list are works which predate the advent of publishing and general attribution of authorship, such as ancient written inscriptions (such as heiroglyphic or pictographical, transcribed texts), certain historical folklore and myths of oral traditions now published as text, and reference or plain texts (letters, notes, graffiti) recovered archaeologically, which are otherwise unimportant to literary studies. Religious texts and grimoires, which are often written anonymously, may appear, along with works initially witten anonymously whose author is now known.


Works predating the Common Era

Ancient Mesopotamian works

Ancient Egyptian works

Early classics

15th century

16th century

17th century

The first classic of modern erotic literature, L'École des filles of 1655 -- like so many similar works after it -- was published anonymously. Anonymous pamphlets played an important role in the political culture of eighteenth century France. In Forbidden Bestsellers Robert Darnton points out that some of the most radical printed texts of the Enlightenment had no author. "They were the public discussing. They expressed the on dit, or talk of the town. Pierre Marteau for instance, was one of those clandestine publishers.

18th century

19th century

20th century

21st century

See also

anonymous work, literary mystification, literary forgery, Pierre Marteau

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Anonymity in publishing" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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