Now that’s what I call a book title

The_Anatomy_of_Melancholy_by_Robert_Burton_frontispiece_1638_edition

This is the title page of “The Anatomy Of Melancholy”, one of Gert’s father’s favourite books.  Why don’t we see these lovely long titles any more?

The full title of Robinson Crusoe is

Robinson Crusoe : The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, Of York, Mariner: Who lived Eight and Twenty Years, all alone in an un-inhabited Island on the Coast of America, near the Mouth of the Great River of Oroonoque; Having been cast on Shore by Shipwreck, wherein all the Men perished but himself. With An Account how he was at last as strangely deliver’d by Pyrates.

And wouldn’t you have to drop everything and  rush off to read

The Affecting History Of Two Young Gentlewomen, Who Were Ruined By Their Excessive Attachment To The Amusements Of The Town. To Which Are Added, Many Practical Notes, By Dr. Typo.

or

 Argal; Or The Silver Devil, Being The Adventures Of An Evil Spirit, Comprising A Series Of Interesting Anecdotes, With Which The Demon Became Acquainted, During His Confinement In The Metalline Substance To Which He Was Condemned. Related By Himself.

Our very own Professor Skinner, in The 1001 Nights of Iarcus Oralto, has a book called Ramifications of the Intensely Abrupt, a Treatise on the Pronoun Problem, together with helpful Charts, Diagrams and Exhortations to the Linguistically Underprivileged.

 In contrast, the title of one of our favourite books is positively terse:

 Augustus Carp, Esq., By Himself: Being the Autobiography of a Really Good Man.

Is the best modern writers can do A Heartbreaking Story of Staggering Genius or The Curious Incident of the Dog in The Night Time, or even, Crane Mansions: a novel about the redeeming power of cake?

 

 

 

 

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14 thoughts on “Now that’s what I call a book title

    1. It is an absolutely enormous book. Our father used to nod off in his chair with a glass of port beside him, his pipe fuming in his mouth, many and many a night with it in his lap. As he was a rather melancholy man himself, perhaps it was not the best reading.

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    1. Still it might be fun to try…. Being the tale of the vicissitudes of a young girl entrapped in various schemes and plots of a nefarious nature and treating of the religion of Pigeonnic Augury and the noble art of pigeon racing, together with useful recipes for a variety of gustatory delights, advice for increasing wealth and the keeping of zebras…..

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  1. Lewis Carroll has given some thought to Melancholetta:
    With saddest music all day long
    She soothed her secret sorrow
    At night she sighed “I fear twas wrong
    Such cheerful words to borrow;
    Dearest, a sweeter sadder song
    I’ll sing to thee tomorrow” etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There are two books that really took my fancy because of their titles – The Lost Stradivarius and The Nebuly Coat both from the late 1800’s by John Meade Falkner. The titles of the books had a sense of mystery and a subtle invitation to read more. They were written in such beautiful English I couldn’t put them down. I would classify them as some of the best literature ever written in English.
    Leslie

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  3. I would love to read “Argal; Or The Silver Devil, Being The Adventures Of An Evil Spirit, Comprising A Series Of Interesting Anecdotes, With Which The Demon Became Acquainted, During His Confinement In The Metalline Substance To Which He Was Condemned. Related By Himself.” Who could not love that title? And it was written in the 18th century too, which not only makes the whole weirdly Anne Rice-y sounding topic very unusual, but which is also my favourite historical era. Sadly, this one is not on Gutenberg, though D: Does anyone know where to find it?

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