10 Famous Books With Lesser-Known Subtitles

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1. Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. Many see this as Mary Shelley's answer to the Industrial Revolution—she was rather skeptical that the type of progress being made was good progress.

2. Slaughterhouse Five: or The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death

3.Oliver Twist: The Parish Boy's Progress. Dickens was a big fan of subtitles – others included A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas, Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of Eighty and David Copperfield or The Personal History, Adventures, Experience and Observation of David Copperfield the Younger of Blunderstone Rookery (Which He never meant to be Published on any Account).

4. Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life.

5. Peter Pan, or, The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up

6. Twelfth Night, or What You Will. Twelfth Night is one of only two Shakespeare plays to have a subtitle. The other is Henry VIII, or All Is True. Some Shakespeare scholars suggest he was mocking the whole subtitle craze by giving Twelfth Night a completely useless subtitle that added absolutely no extra information about the play.

7. Roots: The Saga of an American Family

8. Tess of the d'Urbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented

9. Vanity Fair: A Novel Without a Hero

10. Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor

Did any of these surprise you? Do you know of any others?

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October 7, 2010 - 5:28pm
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