Thursday, August 14, 2014

Unpromising beginnings

Some authors' talents are obvious from an early age - but, as this article on school reports underlines, others only shine in adulthood. The teacher who noted that Charlotte Bronte "writes indifferently" must have been left suitably red-faced by the publication of Jane Eyre - and it must have come as something of a shock to whoever described P G Wodehouse as having "the most distorted ideas about wit and humour" to discover that such ideas were actually extremely popular...

And it's not just some authors who get off to unpromising beginnings - sometimes the same applies to the books they write. Take The Great Gatsby, for instance - initially it rejoiced under the glorious moniker Trimalchio In West Egg. On the Oxford Dictionaries site, you can take a quiz to test your knowledge (or powers of guesswork) in relation to the working titles of famous works of fiction.

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