VMLY&R launches Reclaim Her Name for Baileys & The Women's Prize for Fiction

Baileys and The Women’s Prize for Fiction launch Reclaim Her Name - a collection of 25 novels rereleased for the first time under the female author’s own name

The collection includes 25 novels previously published under male pseudonyms, including the first ever publication of Middlemarch under George Eliot's real name, Mary Ann Evan

The ‘Reclaim Her Name’ collection aims to ignite new & exciting conversations around persisting challenges to women’s visible contribution to literature past and present

The 25-book library created by leading brand and consumer agency, VMLY&R, features newly commissioned cover artwork from female designers. The full collection will be available to download as e-books for free

  • Baileys Reclaim Her Name Book Collection
  • Reclaim Her Name Baileys Back of Collection

London, 12 August 2020 - Throughout history, female writers have written under male pseudonyms for many reasons, often as the only way for their work to be published and given the attention it deserves.  Now for the first time, in collaboration with Women’s Prize for Fiction - as a way of honouring and celebrating some of these amazing novels of the past - Baileys is rereleasing these classic works with the author’s true names on the cover, giving them the visibility and credit they deserve. 

To celebrate Women’s Prize for Fiction’s 25th anniversary, Baileys, as longstanding sponsors, wanted to create a campaign to help celebrate women's creative achievements. The ‘Reclaim Her Name’ initiative will see 25 novels re-released and available for free, championing female writers throughout the ages who faced many obstacles, not least sexism and prejudice. Devised in collaboration with leading consumer creative agency, VMLY&R, the team carefully selected each of the 25 books, searching archives, online and university resources to identify female writers who disguised their gender with pseudonyms. The collection of books includes Middlemarch by Mary Ann Evans (aka George Eliot) and A Phantom Lover by Violet Paget (aka Vernon Lee) and aims to encourage new and important conversations around the continuing challenges women face in publishing and authors' many reasons for using a pseudonym.

Although attitudes have significantly changed in today’s literary world, female authors still experience gender bias1 and though some still use male pseudonyms by choice, others do so as a way to level the playing field or because they need to conceal their identity.

All works in the new ‘Reclaim Her Name’ series have received a beautiful modern cover design update from an inspiring selection of female illustrators all over the world, including Brazil, Russia, Jordan and Germany.

Liz Petry, daughter of Anne Petry, who’s book ‘Marie of the Cabin Club’ has been featured in the collection commented; “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 - my mother always believed in a world with shared humanity and I think this project encapsulates that.”

Women’s Prize for Fiction Founder Director Kate Mosse, said: “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”.

Adrienne Gammie, Category Marketing Director – Gins, Pimm’s & Baileys, said“The Women’s Prize for Fiction champions the power of female voices, something we care deeply about at Diageo. Through ‘Reclaim Her Name’ we are excited for Baileys to extend this celebration of literary achievement to authors who concealed their gender on their work – shining a spotlight on these incredible female storytellers.”

Tamryn Kerr, Creative Director, VMLY&R said, “Many of the authors we selected were suffragettes and staunch feminists. I’d like to think of this project as our way of thanking them for what they did for us — and of supporting a new generation of artists through the new cover art that 13 inspiring female illustrators, from all over the world, created for the Reclaim Her Name collection.”

The limited edition ‘Reclaim Her Name’ series of books will be available to download in e-book format for free from https://www.baileys.com/en-gb/reclaim-her-name-campaign  


Notes to Editors

The full list of books in the collection is listed below:

1. Middlemarch - Mary Ann Evans (George Eliot)

2. Marie of the Cabin Club - Ann Petry (Arnold Petri)

3. Indiana - Amantine Aurore Dupin (George Sand)

4. A Phantom Lover - Violet Paget (Vernon Lee)

5. The Life of Martin R. Delany - Frances Rollin Whipper (Frank A. Rollin)

6. Keynotes - Mary Bright (George Egerton)

7. Takekurabe ("Growing Up") - Natsu Higuchi (Ichiyō Higuchi)

8. Garden of Kama - Violet Nicolson (Laurence Hope)

9. How White Men Assist In Smuggling… - Edith Maude Eaton (Mahlon T. Wing)

10. Attila, My Attila! - Edith Cooper & Katherine Bradley (Michael Field)

11. Ye Game and Playe of Chesse - Alice Dunbar Nelson (Monroe Wright)

12. Painted Clay - Doris Boake Kerr (Capel Boake)

13. For Our Country - Fatemeh Soltan Khanum Farahani (Shahein Farahani)

14. Iras: A Mystery - Henrietta Everett (Theo Douglas)

15. The History of Sir Richard Calmady - Mary Kingsley (Lucas Malet)

16. Atla - Story of a Lost Island - Ann Smith (J Gregory Smith)

17. Twilight - Julia Frankau (Frank Danby)

18. The Silence Of Dean Maitland - Mary Tuttiett (Maxwell Gray)

19. The Head Of Medusa - Julia Constance Fletcher (George Fleming)

20. Some Emotions and a Moral - Pearl Richards (John Oliver Hobbes)

21. Cecilia De Noël - Mary Hawker (Lanoe Falconer)

22. Echoes from Mist-land - Aubertine Woodward Moore (Auber Forestier)

23. Valerie Aylmer - Frances Tiernan (Christian Reid)

24. A Diplomat's Diary - Julia Cruger (Julien Gordon)

25. The Roadmender - Margaret Fairless Barber (Michael Fairless) 


  • Baileys Reclaim Her Name Seven Books
  • Baileys Reclaim Her Name Mary Ann Evans


Client: Senior Brand Manager, Diageo: Lucy Barrett

Agency: VMLY&R

CCO: Laurent Simon

Chairman: Mark Roalfe

Creative Director: Tamryn Kerr

Creative: Sophie Taylor, George Robb

Head of Design: Chris Willis

Senior Designer: Dominic Frain

Senior Producer: Charlotte Davis, Sarah Knight

Strategist: Mark Linford

Business Director: Freddie Campbell

Senior Account Manager: John New

Studio Manager/Artworker: Grant Gilliard

Artworker: Daniel Arnott

Project Manager: Sarah Morton, Joseph Walker, Pip Rook

Social Media: Sinead Brennan, Caner Daywood