Friday, May 30, 2008

Whose Tom Jones?

If you didn't know that Henry Fielding is the author, and Tom Jones is the book, you might be confused by this Oxford World's Classics book cover that gives them equal billing. But seen in a bookshop, with others in the series, the relationship of author to title is clear:

So here, the status of author and title are indicated solely by position. But collecting together other editions gives a nice demonstration of how, in certain circumstances, typographic, layout and verbal codes are interchangeable.

The ones that use Fielding's original full title are the least ambiguous. In this last one, it's the picture that really disambiguates: