Constance Savery, Pseudonyms CWS

Pseudonyms

Pen names protect privacy, permit inferior works to be disregarded, and satisfy publishers with exclusive rights to an author's name. Once Savery was selling successfully, privacy was no longer a consideration. When she began her work diary in December of 1929 she included her juvenile works although she had no illusions about their literary quality. The diary mentions a number of titles that were never published and were not preserved among her manuscripts, so one or two may have been published without acknowledgment, but it is improbable. Some of her short stories were unsigned, because a periodical did not list its authors, and editors of annuals saw to it her name did not appear too often in a Table of Contents. I think that a publisher prohibited the use of her own name on two occasions.

Below are the pen names in alphabetical order. Click on a name to go to the descriptive list that follows. The titles in the descriptions can take you to the annotation of the work in question. When Savery and her sisters were writing family magazines as children, she used some fanciful names that are not included here. Alternate spellings of Savery's name are included, because they may be used by booksellers.

Signatures other than 'Constance Savery'

  • In Deepest Suffolk
  • Jennifer Jane
  • Otra Dama
  • Rycon
  • C. Savery
  • C. W. Savery (S.C.)
  • Constanse Savery
  • Constanze Savery
  • Winifred Savery
  • Scabious
  • Eleanor Xavery
  • Frith Xavery

  • Works in which these pseudonyms were used:

    Another Lady

    A letter written by Savery's sister, Christine, says that J. M. Dent & Sons accepted Emma by "return of post." There was a condition. It was Brontë's name that was to sell Emma. Savery was to be 'Another Lady,' and her authorship was to remain unacknowledged. When Savery sent a manuscript copy of Emma to the library at the University of Southern Mississippi, she was also obliged to send them a letter requesting that her identity as Another Lady not be revealed, although the manuscript is filed with her papers.

    The Everest House reprint of Emma in the United States was also credited to Another Lady. The Dutch and Spanish editions simply translated 'another lady' into 'een onbekende' and 'Otra Dama.' The Russian edition, issued in 2001 after both English-language editions were out of print, lists the authors as 'Sharlotta Bronte and Another Lady,' declining to translate 'another lady' into Russian. Savery's name, in Cyrillic characters, is on the back cover and inside the book itself, the only edition of Emma in any language with her name.

    Any interest that Dent and Everest had in withholding Savery's name seems to have been suspended since their editions went out of print. Both the Library of Congress and the British Library now list Savery's name with Another Lady, and occasional listings of Emma on AbeBooks acknowledge her as well. Complicating the picture is Another Lady, Marie Dobbs, who completed Jane Austen's Sanditon. Emma is also, of course, an Austen title.

    C. (S.C.)

    I have not seen other issues of THE FRITILLARY, in which Mike and Dicky was published, but I suspect that an initial was a common signature there. 'C. (S.C.)' is short for 'Constance (Somerville College). Savery's own memory was at fault when she wrote in the work diary that the poem was signed 'C.S. SC'. In the same issue of THE FRITILLARY she signed a review 'C. W. Savery (S.C.)'.

    Correspondent

    THE TIMES of London published four Savery articles 'from a Correspondent':

    A Victorian in Training: Gems from the "Ladies' Treasury"
    Death Comes to the Dragons
    Books for Black-Outs
    Mr. Gaul's Party

    Savery's work diary indicates the response to one of these:
    Nov. 27th/1939: Article Books for the Black Outs : Charlotte Yonge in these days appeared in THE TIMES. Amusing correspondence followed. Was attacked by E.M. Delafield.
    Delafield did sign her letter, which was dated November 30. Her corrections—"attacked" is too strong—were correct.

    A fifth article in THE TIMES EDUCATIONAL SUPPLEMENT was not signed.

    Elizabeth Cloberry

    Savery used Elizabeth Cloberry as a pen name on two occasions. The first was in 1940 while her serial, Silver Whistle, was running in WOMAN'S MAGAZINE. When the magazine purchased a two-part story, Miss Marigold's Love Letter, it was published with the Cloberry signature to avoid having two Savery titles in the same two issues.

    I do not know the circumstances surrounding the publication of Sir Dominic's Scapegrace, but it is possible that Savery was under contract at the time to a publisher with rights to her next story. The booklet was originally much longer than when it was published.

    Dolores

    Savery wrote her Translation of French Verse in 1925, four years before she began her work diary, so I have no record of why she chose 'Dolores' as a pen name. The translation was entered for a competition, and it was usual for contestants to use pseudonyms.

    een onbekende

    Savery was required to use 'Another Woman' as a pen name when Emma was published. The Dutch publisher signed her 'een onbekende', which, according to babelfish translates as 'an unknown person.' Savery conjectured, from 'ende', perhaps, that it meant "one who completes." I cannot blame her for not looking it up, since I cannot recall and have not looked up where she made her conjecture.

    In Deepest Suffolk

    Savery, in semiretirement, was seeking anonymity when she wrote I Too Was a Reward-Book Writer and signed it with a pen name. A. Morgan Derham, who wrote the offending article, responded with an attack on her credentials, and the journal editor found it appropriate to assure readers that 'In Deepest Suffolk' was a respected author. There are disadvantages to not letting folks know who you are.

    Jennifer Jane

    Savery never signed herself 'Jennifer Jane.' When she wrote A Pot of Blue Squills, her second story for THE SUNDAY CIRCLE, the editor identified her style as that of another writer and confessed to using the other author's pen name. Then in her next letter the editor asked: "What pen-name would you like to use?"

    Otra Dama

    'Otra Dama' is a literal translation of 'Another Lady' and is the appropriate pen name for the Spanish translation of Emma. Both the hardback and paperback editions use it. It is much easier to find the book on the Internet searching under 'Otra Dama' than it is using Emma.

    Rycon

    I am indebted to Agneta Thomson for pointing out to me that 'Rycon' is a contraction of 'Savery, Constance'. Savery used that name for The Rector in Council, which appeared in THE LADY. Since she used her own name in the same periodical two years later, I am at a loss to explain why she used a pseudonym the first time.

    C. Savery

    'C. Savery' is the name on the title page of She Went Alone: Mary Bird of Persia. Since Christine Savery sometimes used 'C. Savery' on works she wrote for boys, some confusion is inevitable. 'C. Savery' also appears on the cover, but not the title page, of Vi Rømmer.

    C. W. Savery (S.C.)

    During her last year as an Oxford undergraduate Savery wrote a Review of 'The Oxford Book of Poetry - 1919' for THE FRITILLARY and signed it 'C.W. Savery (S.C.)'. The 'S.C.' refers to Somerville College. See 'C. (S.C.)'.

    Constanse Savery

    Gro er real, the Norwegian translation of Meg Plays Fair uses this spelling of the author's name. Other Norwegian translations of her books use 'Constance'.

    Constanze Savery

    For the six Savery book titles translated into German, two translations, Wer spielt mit Benjamin? and Kampfhähne, spell 'Constance' with a z.

    Winifred Savery

    I had not intended to include Savery's writing as a young child, but Winifred's Thought Book can hardly be overlooked. She was not that much older the other time she signed herself 'Winifred': The Tricker Tricked.

    Scabious

    Scabious is the common name for scabiosa, a "heavy-blooming dwarf with blue flowers" according to an Internet source. Savery was a life-long gardener, despite the sooty bushes in Birmingham, and certainly knew what scabious was when she submitted her Seaside Holiday entry to GIRL'S REALM in 1913. The GIRL'S REALM required pseudonyms from its young contributors.

    Eleanor Xavery

    Savery had three books in print when she began writing sentimental short stories for adult readers of THE SUNDAY CIRCLE. She used her own name for the first, and the publisher--erroneously--attached the name 'Jennifer Jane', see above, to the second, but thereafter five stories appeared with the pen name Eleanor Xavery:

    Angel Feathers
    The Blue Loving Cup
    Cross-Roads
    Li'l White Owl
    Ow'd Maggotty Patch

    Savery's mother's name was Eleanor, and there is a tenuous connection between Savery and Xavery. Savery Families by A. W. Savary has this footnote:
    † A writer on such subjects has suggested for the origin of the name the same root as the French Xavier. with the meaning "bright," "brilliant," which has prompted a neat ode to the name from the gifted pen of John Savary, Esq., of the Congressional Library, Washington.
    Savery's diary cites Savary's book without mentioning this note. I have not looked for John Savary's ode.

    Xavery was 'obviously' a pen name, and Savery was growing increasingly confident of her work, so by 1933 it was time to publish boldly under her own name.

    Frith Xavery

    'Frith Xavery' was used by Savery for her first successful submission to a publisher other than Dorothy Barter Snow, who was, I infer from their correspondence, a former classmate. The 'Frith Xavery' signature was attached to a short story, The Fairy Godbrother. Christine Savery approved of the pen name, but warned her sister to pick a pen name she liked and stick with it in the interests of posterity.

    John Frith (1503-1533), a Protestant martyr who assisted William Tyndale in translating the New Testament, was precisely the sort of person to inspire Savery to borrow his name, and her father, who was still alive, had made a passing reference in his book to letters exchanged between 'Fryth' and Tyndale. On the other hand, The Fairy Godbrother is amusing rather than profound, and the use of Frith's name would not have been appropriate unless she planned to sign 'Frith Xavery' to more serious fiction. Whatever her motives and whatever the source of the name, she did not use it again.

    This web site © 2010-11 by Eric Schonblom. The unpublished works of Constance Savery are reproduced with the permission of her literary heir and copyright owner, E.C.W. Hummerstone.