Renamed Classics: What Your Favorite Books Were Almost Called

12/02/2011 11:43 am ET
  • Madeleine Crum

A book title is a story's thesis statement. If it's boring or off-putting, readers will turn their attention elsewhere. If it's evocative or captivating, a title can mask the quality of a mediocre book. So we have to wonder: If these classic books had less illustrious titles, would they have gained such a faithful readership?

Probably. Still, checking out other names considered by James Joyce and Jane Austen is good for a laugh. Here are some renamed titles from "mental_floss: The Book" [HarperCollins, $17.99]

CONVERSATIONS