What difference, if any, is there between "lesser-known" and "less-known"? Both "lesser" and "less" are adverbials there. I suspect "lesser-known" can be used only attributively. Any other differences?
I'd appreciate your help.
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Gweneth Jones is one of the lesser-known writers of mystery fiction. She is certainly less known than Tom Smith, who is becoming rather popular for a mid-list author.
"lesser known" tends to be used to compare with a sort of imaginary "standard' or "average" figure in whatever field is being written of. "Less known" (or much more often less well-known") is normally used to compare two (or more) specific people or things.
However, these are not absolute rules, and some will use "lesser known" to compare two specific things.