" 1579, John Stubbs had his right hand cut off for writing a work opposing the marriage of Elizabeth I to a French nobleman. Elizabeth herself urged that the printers of the anti-Anglican Marprelate tracts should be subjected to torture. In 1663, a London printer who published a pamphlet which argued that the monarch should be accountable to his subjects...was...hanged, drawn and quartered.""John Dryden was beaten up when leaving a coffee house because of an anonymous poem attributed to his pen" and the " proprietor of Blackwood’s Magazine horsewhipped at least twice by the victims of pugnacious, unsigned reviews... one irate author beat the proprietor of Fraser’s Magazine with a riding crop before fighting a duel with the journal’s dipsomaniac editor" while a vitriolic anonymous review merely " caused the ruptured blood vessel that eventually killed " Keats.
" There was, however, profit as well as peril in anonymity. " Tobias Smollet t" produced an " unsigned complimentary review of his own Complete History of England. An unattributed notice in the London Chronicle which praised a work by James Boswell as ‘a book of true genius’ was written by Boswell himself... ... Even the high-minded George Eliot anonymously reviewed her partner G.H. Lewes’s life of Goethe, a work she had helped him compose. Not everyone disapproved of such practices. Stanley Morison, who edited the TLS in the 1940s, declared the self-review to be the ideal example of the genre. Coming from a man who ran a journal devoted entirely to anonymous contributions, this was dangerous stuff."