Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tuesday Trivia

  1. What famous opening line of one of America’s most famous poems was actually intended to parody the clichéd opening of a fairy tale?
  2. Which nineteenth-century British novelist’s pet was quite possibly the inspiration for the eponymous fowl in a nineteenth-century American poet’s most famous work?
  3. Which British Poet Laureate is credited with coining the term “autobiography” in an 1809 article for the _Quarterly Review_?
  4. To whom did Charles Dickens offer to reveal the ending of his (unfinished final) novel, _The Mystery of Edwin Drood_? (Hint: she said “No, thank you,” and Dickens died, so no one knows how the novel was supposed to end!)

Last Week's Answers

Nineteenth-century Shakespearian actor Edmund Keen collapsed onstage while performing the eponymous role in this Shakespearean tragedy. He died three months later, some say of having expended so much in his performance. (Hint: He collapsed during Act III, scene iii.)


Nineteenth-century British actress Ellen Ternan may or may not have had an affair with this famous Victorian novelist, though he most certainly separated from his wife for her and provided her with a £1,000 bequest and a trust fund sufficient to guarantee that she would never have to work again.

Charles Dickens

While most of this writer’s obituaries dismissed him as a writer of pornography who had “wasted his considerable talents,” colleague E. M. Forster praised him as “the greatest imaginative novelist of our generation.”

D. H. Lawrence

In which Thomas Hardy novel does an adolescent murder his siblings and then commit suicide, leaving a note that says, “Done because we are too menny”?

Jude the Obscure

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