Literary Quiz Questions



Round 1 –

What the Dickens?


These are all characters from Charles Dickens novels – but which one?

Wackford Squeers
Abel Magwitch
Noah Claypole
Uriah Heep
Thomas Gradgrind
Seth Pecksniff
John Jarndyce
Madame Defarge
Nell Trent
Old Fezziwig

Round 2 – Hard Times

No, not more Dickens, but all novels or poems set during a war or conflict.

Which war poet wrote the poem that begins with the lines: ‘Just now the lilac is in bloom, all before my little room’?

1 point for the poet, one point for the poem
An Ernest Hemingway novel set during the Spanish Civil War.

Set during the American Civil War, this Charles Frazier novel was made into a 2003 film directed by Anthony Minghella.

Graham Greene’s novel, The Quiet American is set in which country?

In what year was Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace originally published in its entirety?
Allow 5 years either way.

Who wrote the definitive anti-war book All Quiet on the Western Front?

What is the name of Raymond Briggs’ ‘visual parable against nuclear war’?

Who wrote The Kite Runner, set in the conflict in Afghanistan?

Which well-known writer of historical fiction wrote Tidelands, set in the English Civil War?

Captain John Yossarian features in which famous novel set in World War II? 1 point for author, 1 point for title

Round 3 –

Check the Calendar

These books or plays all have a day, month, year or season in the title.

Hugely successful debut novel by TV’s Richard Osman.

Alan Sillitoe’s novel, turned into a 1960 ‘kitchen sink drama’ starring Albert Finney.

A novel by Mitch Albom, in which an old college professor teaches a former student some life lessons.

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is a 2010 novel by which Booker prize-nominated author?

Who wrote The Darling Buds of May?

Made into a film starring Sean Connery, which prolific author wrote The Hunt for Red October?

Which of Shakespeare’s plays is set in Sicily and Bohemia?

The plot of which 2005 Ian McEwan novel takes place over a single day?

Suddenly Last Summer is a one-act play by which author and playwright?

Complete the title of this novel by Patricia Highsmith: The Two Faces of…?

Round 4 –

A Sporting Chance


These questions all have a sporting theme.

He played cricket at Dulwich College, wrote comic novels and was accused of speaking for the Nazis. Who was he?

Which tennis player published a searingly honest and critically acclaimed autobiography entitled ‘Open’?

Which WWI poet wrote Memoirs of a Fox-hunting Man?

“Play up, play up and play the game”. Which poet wrote these lines?

Which book by Narinder Dhami about an aspiring young footballer was made into a successful film starring Keira Knightley?

Which round the world sailor published his autobiography Running Free in 2018?

Which football manager has seen his recently published My Life in Red and White shoot up the best-seller list?

Rumour has it his wife may have co-written some of his many horse-racing books. Who was he?

As an author and cricket columnist for the Manchester Guardian Neville Cardus was widely read – but also for his columns on a different subject. What?

Whose early novel, Fever Pitch, was based on the trials and tribulations of being a die-hard football fan?

Round 5 –

Location, location, location!


This is a round about fictional addresses.

Who blew in on the east wind to help the family living at 17 Cherry Tree Lane?

Which diarist lived at The Laurels, Brickfield Terrace, Holloway?

Who first lived at Bag End?

Which villain, who first appeared in a Victorian penny dreadful series The String of Pearls, lived at 185 Fleet Street?

Which aristocrat lived in Blandings Castle?

First appearing in A Study in Scarlet, whose address was 221B Baker Street?

Who lived at 7 Eccles Street, Dublin?

Who was the Master of Thornfield Hall?

Which author wrote tales of the residents of 28 Barbary Lane, San Francisco?

Who lived in a mansion in West Egg?

Round 6 – Whatever the Weather


Answers all contain a reference to weather conditions.

Margaret Mitchell’s 1936 blockbuster set during the American Civil War.

A family’s secrets are unearthed during the long hot summer of 1976 in this psychological drama by Maggie O’Farrell.

Six interlocking lives in a narrative that circles the globe and stretches from the nineteenth century to a post-apocalyptic future in this 2004 novel by David Mitchell.

‘The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep
And miles to go before I sleep.’
This is the last stanza of a poem by which wintry-sounding author?

J.G. Ballard’s 1984 WWII novel about a boy who gets separated from his parents in Shanghai and ends up living in a Japanese internment camp.
Set in the Arctic, a 1963 thriller by Alistair MacLean, loosely adapted into a 1968 film starring Rock Hudson.

D. H. Lawrence’s ‘Women in Love’ is a sequel to his 1915 novel which follows three generations of the Nottinghamshire based Brangwen family.
‘O brave new world, that has such people in ‘t!’

Which Shakespeare play contains this famous line?

Peter Hoeg’s icy-cool Scandinavian detective novel which starts with a child falling to his death from a rooftop in Copenhagen.

‘To Autumn’ by John Keats – what is the descriptive first line of this famous poem?

Round 7 Drink up!

These books all have something to do with beverages…

Joanne Harris’s follow-up to her hugely successful novel, Chocolat.

Part of a trilogy, Laurie Lee’s memoir of his childhood in a Cotswold village.

Who wrote the novel The Water Babies?

The penultimate novel by Edward St Aubyn, featuring the character Patrick Melrose.

A 1947 Compton Mackenzie novel based on the true story of the SS Politician running aground off a Scottish island.

Who wrote the novel, the full title of which is The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman?

The 1930 novel by W Somerset Maugham is Cakes and …?

The title of this Hercule Poirot mystery by Agatha Christie is a hot beverage.

In Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, how many characters attend the infamous tea party?

’Never drink more than two Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters unless you are a thirty ton mega-elephant with bronchial pneumonia’ is advice given in what 1979 novel?