I'm the sort of person who regards it as mandatory to sit through a film's end credits. Key Grip, Gaffer, Best Boy, Focus Puller, the lot; how much simpler when it simply said 'The End' or with French movies the definitive brevity of 'Fin'. So it might not entirely surprise you that I give close attention to the copyright page whenever I start reading a book. The usual 'The author asserts his right....' down to the who and where of the printer credits. About the only thing I tend to gloss over is the ISBN number, although even that sometimes has its fascination.
I've just taken Stephen Clarke's Dial M for Merde out of the library. So it's Stephen Clarke who has asserted his rights this time around, but it was the subsequent paragraph that caught my eye:
This book is a work of fiction and, except in the case of historical fact, any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Except in the case of historical fact? Presumably that means 'unless it's true'; it certainly covers a multitude of sins, authorial or otherwise.
Anyway it's typeset in 11/14 point Jansen Falcon Oast Graphic Art Ltd and printed by CPI Mackays of Chatham, Kent, in case you were wondering.
The next page has a brief quotation from Goethe's Faust, but one page further on and Stephen Clarke offers another disclaimer:
For legal reasons, I am obliged to stress that this novel in no way implies that the current President of France receives sexual favours from his female staff. That would be an outrageous - and totally unbelievable - allegation.