Thursday, 22 October 2015


“Books are but waste paper unless we spend in action the wisdom we get from thought.” - Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Just something different today, here are some trivia questions relating to authors and books (answers are here)

Some authors are rather coy about using their first names on their works and we refer to them by their initials and their surname. Can you name the first names of these famous authors?
A. A. Milne
C. S. Lewis
D. H. Lawrence
G. K. Chesterton
H. G. Wells
J. D. Salinger
J. R. R. Tolkien
P. D. James
P. G. Wodehouse
V. S. Naipaul

Thomas Gray’s Elegy “Written in a Country Churchyard” contains these lines:
“*** **** *** ******* *****'s ignoble strife
Their sober wishes never learned to stray”
Thomas Hardy wrote a famous novel whose title is the asterisked quotation from Gray’s poem. What is the title that completes the poetic couplet?

“The Battle Hymn of the Republic” contains the following:
“Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where *** ****** ** ***** are stored”
And the title of a famous John Steinbeck novel complete the quote. Which one is it?

In Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”, the following lines appear:
“How beauteous mankind is! O ***** *** *****
That has such people in't”
The asterisks obscure the title of a famous Aldous Huxley novel.

The following are first lines of famous novels, which ones?

“The past is a different country; they do things differently there.”

“There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.”

“Under certain circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea. There are circumstances in which, whether you partake of the tea of not - some people of course never do, - the situation is in itself delightful.”

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”

Who wrote these famous novels?
“Madame Bovary”
“The Last Days of Pompeii” 
“Death in Venice”
“Murder on the Orient Express”
“The Life and Times of Alexis Zorbas”
“Don Quixote”

And who is the famous 19th century author in the illustration above?


  1. OK

    zero for 1.
    full marks for 2.
    1/4 for 3
    4/6 for 4
    Charles Dickens

    I hope you are not disappointed. You probably thought I was a literary genius:)

  2. How fascinating... I didn't pass, but never mind.