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10 Famous Book Titles Taken from Surprising Works of Literature

Classic book titles that allude to other literary works

Everyone knows that Aldous Huxley ‘borrowed’ the title of his best-known novel Brave New World from Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Similarly, it’s well-known that Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls takes its title from a sermon by John Donne. But sometimes a famous book title can hide a surprising allusion to another, perhaps less well-known, work of literature. Here are ten of our favourites. How many of these titles did you know owed their existence to another literary work?

Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms. Hemingway’s WWI novel takes its title from a poem of the same name by George Peele, an Elizabethan playwright and poet best remembered for (possibly) collaborating with Shakespeare on Titus Andronicus. The full title of Peele’s poem is A Farewell to Arms (To Queen Elizabeth). Read the rest of this entry