Reclaim for who exactly? What if they took a man’s name because of their gender preference? I’m all for finding ways of highlighting women’s work that has been overlooked. But this project is presumptuous.
One of the most frequent comments from new customers in my shop is that women aren't better known because they all wrote in secrecy or took men's names. It's simply not that true. Some did. Some didn't. Not all. The reason they aren't known is because men typically don't care.
Publishing, a male-dominated space, has valued books by men more than books by women through history. When a woman has been revealed to write under a pseudonym publishing frolics onward treating her like, (surprise!), NOT A MAN.
Male academics as recent as the last two decades have argued against Mary Shelley writing Frankenstein, once she was revealed as the writer it did her no good, really.
The pseudonym is a complicated thing and this reduces the reasons for it to something that doesn't actually address the issue in publishing history or publishing. And furthers the somewhat myth that women aren't known because they write in secret.
That some women veiled their identities isn't the reason we don't know their work better, is the thing.

OK! I will continue to grow progressively frustrated at this project! I can tell!
I do appreciate that they reached out to women's estates who gave joyous permission. And also that there are lots of reasons for women to take a pseudonym. The issue is some women might not wanted their name on the book. I like so much of the project and its aims! Glad its free!
But the slant is slanted.
Maybe the campaign should be called "KNOW THEIR OTHER NAME!"
Vernon Lee, or Violet Paget, dressed like a man. Lee is hella cute and fashioned herself boyish. She might not want Violet to be the name on The Phantom Lover. We don't know what she would want.
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