Skip to main content

Check out Some Alternative Names for Some of Your Favourite Books

By September 12, 2018Literature, The Classics

It’s hard to imagine, but there was a time when F Scott Fitzgerald hadn’t yet decided on a name for his classic novel The Great Gatsby. Deciding upon a name for your novel can be an incredibly tricky task, and it’s a challenge for even the greatest authors.

Fitzgerald had a number of titles in mind for the novel that would eventually be called The Great Gatsby, but it was actually his editor, Max Perkins, who eventually got him to settle on the title we know today. As The Independent reports, potential names included:

Among Ash-Heaps and Millionaires​
Trimalchio in West Egg
On the Road to West Egg
Under the Red, White and Blue
Gold-Hatted Gatsby
The High-Bouncing Lover

Ernest Hemingway also struggled when it came to naming his novels. Did you know that A Farewell to Arms was chosen from a ‘shortlist’ of more than 40 titles. Alternative names include:

Love In War
Sorrow For Pleasure
Late Wisdom
The Enchantment
If You Must Love
World Enough and Time
In Praise of His Mistress
Every Night and All
Of Wounds and Other Causes
The Retreat from Italy
As Others Are
Love is One Fervent Fire​
Kindlit without Desire
A World to See
Patriots Progress
The Grand Tour
The Italian Journey
The World’s Room
Disorder and Early Sorrow
An Italian Chronicle
The Time Exchanged
Death Once Dead
They Who Get Shot
The Italian Experience
Love in Italy
Love in War
The Sentimental Education
Education of the Flesh
The Carnal Education
The Sentimental Education of Frederick Henry
Thing That Has Been
Nights and Forever
In Another Country
Knowledge Increaseth Sorrow
The Peculiar Treasure
One Event Happeneth To Them All
One Thing For Them All
Nothing Better For A Man
Time of War
The World’s Room
One Thing is Certain
The Long Home

Other famous books that almost had alternative tittles include Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, which was almost called Pride and Prejudice, First Impressions. Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird was almost simply titled Atticus, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings was almost The War of the Ring, Lolita was nearly The Kingdom by the Sea, and Of Mice and Men could’ve been known as Something Happened.

Coming up with a good title for your book is incredibly important, but also extremely difficult. They say you should never judge a book by its cover, but what about its name? The name of a book is often the first impression people have of it, so an interesting and evocative title is a must. Still, we like to think that, regardless of a book’s title, the quality of the writing is what ultimately matters.

Leave your vote

-1 Points
Upvote Downvote

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.