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Title Tales Told: A Worthy New Blog

Filed under: Looked Into   Tagged: ,

Jonathan Taylor writes:

Journalists rarely write their headlines, we all know, but the formulation of a book's title is usually a murkier affair between author and publisher. And that is the subject of Gary Dexter's excellent new blog, How Books Got Their Titles—with daily posts giving "the story behind a famous title of world literature."

Some are behind-the-scenes tales of the title-deciding process; others puzzle out the title's (not obvious) basis within the work itself. Plus: how to pronounce Sketches by Boz, and did you know that Thomas Hobbes also wrote a Behemoth?

I first became aware of the possibility that books might not be inseparable from their titles during my grade-school phase of speed-reading Agatha Christie mysteries, many of which bore inscriptions noting that they had been published under a different title in Britain. (An issue perhaps worth a Dexter digression?)

The next logical step is, how books get their covers. I content myself with the Financial Times's weekly feature, Book Covers. But there is, naturally, a whole book-coversphere to explore!

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