Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tuesday Trivia

  1. When his father choked to death in a restaurant when he was six years old, which future sci-fi author’s mother hired someone to inform him of his father’s death?
  2. Which author coined the term "propeller heads" to describe his family of engineers and hard scientists?
  3. Which author’s mother committed suicide with sleeping pills on Mothers' Day in 1944?
  4. Which author was asked to choose between the two favorite professions of his deeply religious mother — rabbi or concert violinist?
  5. Which Scottish author served as a Leading Torpedo Operator in the Royal Navy during World War II?

Which author entered the University of Montpellier to study for a doctorate in medicine, but was expelled because he had previously been an apothecary?

Nostradamus was expelled from Montpellier shortly after they discovered he had been an apothecary, a manual trade, which made him ineligible to study at the university.

Whose memoirs, penned by Mark Twain, were an instant success and one of the best selling books of the 19th century — famously sold by former Union soldiers in full uniform?

The "Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant", one of the best sellers of the 19th century, hit stores in 1885. After Grant had spent two years on a trip around the world and making poor investments, the former president was on the verge of bankruptcy. Mark Twain approached Grant about publishing the war hero's memoirs, and offered Grant a whopping 75% of the profits. Grant had little choice but to accept Twain's offer, and although Grant died before seeing his book’s success, his widow Julia gained over $400,000 in royalties from the memoir.

What do Laura Ingalls Wilder, Kenneth Grahame, Richard Adams, The Marquis de Sade, and Raymond Chandler have in common?

Each was approaching or over fifty years old before his or her first major work was published. Laura Ingalls Wilder did not publish her first novel in the Little House series of children’s books until her sixties; Kenneth Grahame did not publish until his retirement in 1908 (age 49); Richard Adams’s first novel, the bestseller, Watership Down, was published when he was in his fifties; The Marquis de Sade published his first novel, Justine, after turning 51; Raymond Chandler published his first short story at 45 and his first novel, The Big Sleep at 51.

Below are the given names of authors who generally publish under his or (her) first initials. What are the last names of these authors?
  • Thomas Stearns (Eliot)
  • Edward Estlin (Cummings)
  • Henry Louis (Mencken)
  • Herbert George (Wells)
  • Clive Staples (Lewis)
  • John Ronald Reuel (Tolkein)
  • Alan Alexander (Milne)
  • David Herbert (Lawrence)
  • Elwy Brooks (White)
  • Edgar Lawrence (Doctorow )
  • Edward Morgan (Forster)
  • Ernst Theodor Amadeus (Hoffmann)
  • Gilbert Keith (Chesterton )
  • Howard Phillips (Lovecraft )
  • Pelham Grenville (Wodehouse)
  • Robert Lawrence (Stine)
  • Susan Eloise (Hinton)
  • Terence Hanbury (White)
  • William Edward Burghardt (Du Bois)
  • Wystan Hugh (Auden)


Souscolline said...

Ulysses S. Grant's Personal Memoirs were NOT "penned" by Mark Twain. This story was discredited 125 years ago but is still circulating today because writers are too lazy to check the facts beforehand. Grant wrote the memoirs himself while enduring incredible pain from throat cancer which ultimately killed him just four days after completion of the Memoirs. Grant had already a publisher before Twain made his generous offer.

Annie Rizzuto Urbanik said...

Thanks for the info!