10 tricky pronunciations Next post: 10 tricky pronunciations

The language of Thomas Hardy Previous Post: The language of Thomas Hardy

Book quiz

Book quiz: can you spot titles borrowed from other books?

The Fault in Our Stars, based on the 2012 novel by John Green, is released in cinemas this month. The title is adapted from a line in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. In Act 1, Scene 2, Cassius says:

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.

Of course, John Green isn’t the first author to use or adapt a line from another author to create a title. Since we’ve already tested your knowledge of first lines, last lines, and working titles, this seems like a good opportunity to offer another literary quiz…

Book quiz: can you spot titles borrowed from other books?

Game Over

Which author borrowed a line from Robert Burns’ ‘To a Mouse’ for the title of his 1937 novel about the Great Depression?
A John Steinbeck
B F. Scott Fitzgerald
C William Faulkner
D Raymond Chandler
Agatha Christie’s detective novel The Mirror Crack’d From Side to Side (published as The Mirror Crack’d in America) quotes which poem in its title?
A Aurora Leigh by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
B Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti
C Love Among the Ruins by Robert Browning
D The Lady of Shalott by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Which of these novels is named after a location in John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress?
A Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
B Vanity Fair by W.M. Thackeray
C Bleak House by Charles Dickens
D Middlemarch by George Eliot
Which of Evelyn Waugh’s novels takes its title from T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land?
A A Handful of Dust
B Decline and Fall
C The Loved One
D Put Out More Flags
From which of Shakespeare’s plays did Aldous Huxley borrow the title for Brave New World?
A Much Ado About Nothing
B The Tempest
C Hamlet
D King Lear
Ernest Hemingway’s novel For Whom the Bell Tolls takes its title from the writings of which author?
A John Donne
B John Dryden
C Andrew Marvell
D George Herbert
‘All passion spent’, the final words of John Milton’s Samson Agonistes, is also the title of a 20th-century novel by which writer?
A Virginia Woolf
B Sylvia Townsend Warner
C Rebecca West
D Vita Sackville-West
Which 21st-century book adapts a line from William Blake’s poem ‘The Tyger’ for its title?
A Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
B Unaccustomed Earth, by Jhumpa Lahiri
C Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
D A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseni
The title to Mark Haddon’s 2003 novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a quotation from a story featuring which character?
A Miss Marple
B Hercule Poirot
C Sherlock Holmes
D Lord Peter Wimsey
Which of Cormac McCarthy’s novels takes its title from the opening line of ‘Sailing to Byzantium’ by W.B. Yeats?
A The Orchard Keeper
B All the Pretty Horses
C Outer Dark
D No Country for Old Men
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

The opinions and other information contained in OxfordWords blog posts and comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of Oxford University Press.