Sink your teeth into our fiendish literary quiz – and you could win £1,000!


YOUR STARTER FOR TEN

1. Which play by William Shakespeare is the only one of his to be set in Austria? It’s supposedly a comedy, but is now cited as one of the ‘problem plays’, i.e. it’s not funny.

2. Which novelist, screenwriter and boozehound was named after the man who wrote the lyrics to the American national anthem, ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’? He was a distant relation to the family.

3. Which writer called Mary completed only one novel, and called it Mary?

4. Which comic strip character was named after a 1960s pop festival?

5. In 19th-century America, which symbol was often taught as the 27th letter of the alphabet?

In Diana: The Life and Legacy of the People¿s Princess, Diana spoke of her trip to the White House in 1985, when she danced with several famous men. Who was her favourite dancing partner? a) Tom Selleck. b) Prince Charles. c) John Travolta

In Diana: The Life and Legacy of the People’s Princess, Diana spoke of her trip to the White House in 1985, when she danced with several famous men. Who was her favourite dancing partner? a) Tom Selleck. b) Prince Charles. c) John Travolta

6. The Sound and the Fury, a 1929 novel by William Faulkner; Something Wicked This Way Comes, a 1962 novel by Ray Bradbury; and By The Pricking of my Thumbs, a 1968 novel by Agatha Christie. They all took their titles from lines from which Shakespeare play?

7. Sister Wendy Beckett, the much-loved art historian and nun, died in 2018 aged 88. Who was her Chief Examiner at Oxford, who tried to encourage her to stay on and become a don? She read English.

8. The novelists Margaret Drabble and A. S. Byatt, both Dames of the British Empire, were famously sisters. Which was their common maiden name, i.e. which surname were they both born with? Is it Drabble or Byatt?

9. What were set, variously, in Argentina, Mexico, Cuba, Sierra Leone, Haiti, Vietnam and Brighton?

10. Which American writer was described by David Foster Wallace as ‘a penis with a thesaurus’?

MEMOIRS

Which famous people wrote the following memoirs? Or, in some cases, ‘wrote’ them.

1. The Woman In Me.

2. Making It So.

3. TV: Big Adventures On The Small Screen.

4. The Twat Files.

5. Loosely Based On A Made-Up Story.

6. Karma: My Autobiography.

7. Berserker!

8. Unbreakable.

9. Rambling Man: My Life On The Road.

10. Politics On The Edge.

LITERARY CANADIANS

Here are some of the books written and published by ten bookish Canadians. For each one, identify the well-wrapped writer. (One or two are Canadian by adoption rather than birth.)

1. The Rebel Angels (1981), What’s Bred in the Bone (1985), The Lyre of Orpheus (1988).

2. The Favourite Game (1963), Beautiful Losers (1966), Book of Longing (2006).

3. The Handmaid’s Tale (1985), Alias Grace (1996), Oryx and Crake (2003).

4. The Republic of Love (1992), Larry’s Party (1997), Unless (2002).

5. Lives of Girls and Women (1971), The Moons of Jupiter (1982), Dear Life (2012).

6. Life of Pi (2001), Beatrice and Virgil (2010), The High Mountains of Portugal (2016).

7. Such a Long Journey (1991), A Fine Balance (1995), Family Matters (2002).

8. The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1959), Solomon Gursky Was Here (1989), Barney’s Version (1997).

9. Maps Of Meaning (1999), 12 Rules for Life (2018), Beyond Order (2021).

10. Really Good, Actually (2023).

According to explorer John Blashford-Snell, whose memoir we reviewed in February, if a 15 ft crocodile attacks you and wants to eat you, what should you do? a) Scream like a banshee. b) Run away. c) Shoot it

According to explorer John Blashford-Snell, whose memoir we reviewed in February, if a 15 ft crocodile attacks you and wants to eat you, what should you do? a) Scream like a banshee. b) Run away. c) Shoot it

ANNIVERSARIES

1. Turning 400 this year was which famous French philosopher, mathematician and physicist, whose best-known book was Pensées?

2. Celebrating a 300th birthday was which Scottish philosopher and economist, who was born in 1723?

3. Whose first novel, Hans of Iceland, was published exactly 200 years ago this year?

4. Which of Anthony Trollope’s Palliser series came out 150 years ago this year?

5. Which American writer, who wrote O Pioneers! and My Antonia, among others, was born 150 years ago, in 1873?

6. It’s 100 years since publication of Dorothy L. Sayers’ very first Lord Peter Wimsey mystery, featuring a corpse found in a bath wearing pince-nez. What was its title?

7. It’s 100 years this year since the birth of Elizabeth Jane Howard, author of the Cazalet Chronicles; of John Mortimer, who wrote the Rumpole stories; and of which rather more pugilistic American writer, whose best-known novel came out 75 years ago this year?

8. Celebrating 75 years since publication this year was the first novel by an English writer who would go on to write the children’s classic The Hundred And One Dalmatians. It’s narrated by Cassandra Mortmain. What is the novel’s title?

9. Also turning 75 in 2023 were two connected books from the Tintin series, The Seven Crystal Balls and which epic adventure in South America?

10. Fifty years old in 2023 were J. G. Farrell’s The Siege of Krishnapur, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago and which novel by Sidney Sheldon, at the time possibly more famous as creator and producer of I Dream of Jeannie?

According to Elton John At 75, reviewed by Lilly Subbotin in January, he realised that he¿d never be considered pop star material with a real name like his. With a real name like what? a) Rick Davies. b) Dwight Reginald. c) Reginald Dwight

According to Elton John At 75, reviewed by Lilly Subbotin in January, he realised that he’d never be considered pop star material with a real name like his. With a real name like what? a) Rick Davies. b) Dwight Reginald. c) Reginald Dwight

BOOKS & TV SERIES

In PREVIOUS quizzes we’ve given you the names of famous films based on equally famous books. This time it’s TV series based on books. Most of them have the same name, which should make it slightly simpler. (Three are the name of the series, and two more are the name of the first book in a series.)

1. Novel: 1867. TV series: 2016, starring Paul Dano, James Norton, Lily James, Greta Scacchi. Adapter: Andrew Davies.

2. Novels: 1906-1921. TV series: 1967, starring Kenneth More, Eric Porter, Nyree Dawn Porter. Adapter: Donald Wilson.

3. Novel: 1974. TV series: 1979, starring Alec Guinness, Michael Jayston, Ian Richardson, Bernard Hepton. Adapter: Arthur Hopcraft.

4. Novels: 1960-1980. TV series: 1987, starring Emma Thompson, Kenneth Branagh, Ronald Pickup. Adapter: Alan Plater.

5. Novel: 1945. TV series: 1981, starring Jeremy Irons, Anthony Andrews, Diana Quick, Nickolas Grace. Adapter: Derek Granger.

6. Novel: 1966. TV series: 1984, starring Art Malik, Tim Pigott-Smith, Susan Wooldridge. Adapter: Ken Taylor.

7. Novel: 2018. TV series: 2020, starring Daisy Edgar-Jones, Paul Mescal, Sarah Greene. Adapters: Sally Rooney and Alice Birch.

8. Book (non-fiction): 2016. TV series: 2018, starring Hugh Grant, Ben Whishaw, Alex Jennings, Patricia Hodge. Adapter: Russell T. Davies.

9. Novels: 1924-1928. TV series: 2012, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Rebecca Hall, Adelaide Clemens, Janet McTeer. Adapter: Tom Stoppard.

10. Novel: 2009. TV series: 2015, starring Mark Rylance, Damian Lewis, Claire Foy, Anton Lesser. Adapter: Peter Straughan.

PICTURE ROUND

Here are ten fairly famous writers who produced novels that contained women’s names. For a point each, identify the writer.

1. Sybil (1845).

2. Heidi (1880).

3. Anne Of Green Gables (1908).

4. Rebecca (1938)

5. Lolita (1955).

6. Matilda (1988).

7. Olive Kitteridge (2008).

8. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine (2017).

9. Circe (2018).

10. Queenie (2019).

FROM THE PAGES OF THE DAILY MAIL . . .

1. According to Elton John At 75, reviewed by Lilly Subbotin in January, he realised that he’d never be considered pop star material with a real name like his. With a real name like what?

a) Rick Davies.

b) Dwight Reginald.

c) Reginald Dwight.

2. How many senses do we have? asked Nick Rennison in January, writing about a book called Nature. Some scientists believe it may be as many as …

a) 11.

b) 53.

c) 640.

3. Roger Lewis loved Crazy Old Ladies, about the perilously short careers of actresses in Hollywood’s so-called golden age. How old, for instance, was Gloria Swanson when she played ‘something vampiric’ in Sunset Boulevard?

a) 51.

b) 61.

c) 71.

4. Who, according to a book about insects reviewed by Mark Mason in January, receives 50 to 70 letters a day, many addressed simply to ‘Attenborough, London’?

a) Michael Attenborough.

b) David Attenborough.

c) Chris Packham.

Celebrating 75 years since publication this year was the first novel by an English writer who would go on to write the children¿s classic The Hundred And One Dalmatians. It¿s narrated by Cassandra Mortmain. What is the novel¿s title?

Celebrating 75 years since publication this year was the first novel by an English writer who would go on to write the children’s classic The Hundred And One Dalmatians. It’s narrated by Cassandra Mortmain. What is the novel’s title?

5. In February, the novelist Jessie Burton admitted she had never enjoyed which novel written by a Brontë sister?

a) Jane Eyre.

b) Wuthering Heights.

c) The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

6. ‘I am obsessed with violence. I am obsessed with twisted sexuality. I am obsessed with jealousy, greed, overweening ambition.’ The words of which U.S. crime writer, whose biography was reviewed in February?

a) Patricia Highsmith.

b) Elmore Leonard.

c) James Ellroy.

7. According to explorer John Blashford-Snell, whose memoir we reviewed in February, if a 15 ft crocodile attacks you and wants to eat you, what should you do?

a) Scream like a banshee.

b) Run away.

c) Shoot it.

8. In Diana: The Life and Legacy of the People’s Princess, Diana spoke of her trip to the White House in 1985, when she danced with several famous men. Who was her favourite dancing partner?

a) Tom Selleck.

b) Prince Charles.

c) John Travolta.

9. In Doggy People: The Victorians Who Made The Modern Dog, Christopher Hart read that Queen Victoria owned how many dogs?

a) 11.

b) 53.

c) 640.

10. Which playwright, according to a biography reviewed by Roger Lewis in March, was so accident-prone that one day, while smoking a pipe, he set his hair on fire?

a) Noel Coward.

b) Arthur Miller.

c) Terence Rattigan.

In Doggy People: The Victorians Who Made The Modern Dog, Christopher Hart read that Queen Victoria owned how many dogs? a) 11. b) 53. c) 640

In Doggy People: The Victorians Who Made The Modern Dog, Christopher Hart read that Queen Victoria owned how many dogs? a) 11. b) 53. c) 640

HOW TO ENTER

Send your answers by post to Daily Mail Literary Quiz, Books Department, Daily Mail, 9 Derry Street, London, W8 5HY. Include your full name, address, phone number and email address (if you have one). Closing date for entries is January 19, 2024.

The first set of correct answers drawn from the hat after that closing date wins a prize of £1,000. The winner’s name and the correct answers will be printed in the Daily Mail Books pages on January 26, 2024. The prize is non-transferable and no alternative is available. Allow 28 days for receipt of prize.

Normal Daily Mail terms and conditions apply. Visit dailymail.co.uk/rules for full terms and conditions 



Read More

Leave a comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More