Junius


Biography of Junius

Junius was the pseudonym of a writer who contributed a series of letters to the Public Advertiser, from 21 January 1769 to 21 January 1772. The signature had been already used, apparently by him, in a letter of 21 November 1768. These and numerous other personal letters were not included in his Letters of Junius collection, published in 1772.

Choice of "Junius" as a pseudonym

The name was chosen in all probability because the same author had already signed Lucius and Brutus, and wished to exhaust the name of Lucius Junius Brutus, the Roman patriot. Alternatively, the name may have been derived from the Roman poet Juvenal, who was thought also to have had the nomen Junius. Some say that the author of the Junius letters had previously written under numerous other pseudonyms, and that he continued to do so, under different pseudonyms, after the 36-month period (January 1769 - January 1772) in which the Junius letter were published. He may, for example, have written as Philo-Junius, a character who came to the rescue of Junius when it was clear that the public was misinterpreting his messages. There is weak evidence that he also wrote as Veteran, Nemesis and other anonymous correspondents published in the Public Advertiser.

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