Book lists, Book trivia, Books & art

The UK’s favourite 15 literary heroines

The list below is from a survey of the UK's top 15 favourite literary heroines. I admit I have a weakness for book lists, perhaps it's my book trade background. This list doesn't really have any surprises, light-hearted but worth perusing. Sadly no heroines from the Long Victorian pens of George Eliot, Wilkie Collins or… Continue reading The UK’s favourite 15 literary heroines

Book trivia, Quizzes, puzzles & humour, Quotes

QUIZ: Identify these famous closing lines

Can you identify the famous closing lines above? [Warning – clue below] To help you here is a list of the titles from which the lines were extracted - as usual they are presented in the order of when the book was published: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (1818) The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre… Continue reading QUIZ: Identify these famous closing lines

Illustrations from early additions of Tess of the d'Urbervilles. Alec and Tess plus Angel and Tess
Hardy, Thomas, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Worst couples in literature, Writers

11 worst couples in literature: Angel & Tess and Alec & Tess from Tess of the d’Urbervilles

No.2. Angel & Tess and Alec & Tess from Tess of the d'Urbervilles (Thomas Hardy) We continue our worst couples run down with Tess of the d'Urbervilles: A Pure Woman. It is a remarkable novel, full of interesting things and wonderful writing. And no less than two rotten relationships. Spoiler alert! Angel and Tess: This… Continue reading 11 worst couples in literature: Angel & Tess and Alec & Tess from Tess of the d’Urbervilles

Three images - two photographs of real life people with a claim to have had Tess of the d'Urbervilles based on them. Also a photograph of actress Justine Waddell from a TV adaptation of the book
Book trivia, Hardy, Thomas, Photography, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Writers

Will the real Tess d’Urberville please stand up

I enjoyed the BBC Radio 4 programme In Our Time this week - a discussion of Tess of the d'Urbervilles. A point made was that Hardy is said to have claimed that Tess's appearance was based on Lady Agatha Thornycroft (nee Cox) - wife of the famous Victorian sculptor, Sir Hamo Thornycroft. However, there is… Continue reading Will the real Tess d’Urberville please stand up

Book trivia, Quizzes, puzzles & humour, Quotes

QUIZ answers – identify opening lines

Can you identify these famous opening lines? [Answers below] Answers: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (1847) David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (1850) Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1864) Middlemarch by George Eliot (1871) Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (1878) Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy (1895) Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie (1911) Ethan Frome… Continue reading QUIZ answers – identify opening lines

graphic of opening lines
Book trivia, Quizzes, puzzles & humour, Quotes

QUIZ: Identify these opening lines

Can you identify the famous opening lines above? [Warning - clue below] To help you here is a list of titles from which the lines were extracted, in order of date published: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (1847) David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (1850) Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1864) Middlemarch by George Eliot… Continue reading QUIZ: Identify these opening lines

Book trivia, Collins, Wilkie, The Woman in White, Worst couples in literature

11 worst couples in literature: Laura Fairlie & Sir Percival Glyde from The Woman in White

No.3. Laura Fairlie and Sir Percival Glyde from The Woman in White (Wilkie Collins) * * Spoiler alert - don't read this if you haven't yet read the book * * Oh dear - this marriage was spectacularly doomed from the start. The utterly broke Sir Percival Glyde can appear charming and gracious, but he's… Continue reading 11 worst couples in literature: Laura Fairlie & Sir Percival Glyde from The Woman in White

Book lists, Book trivia, Happiness/Meaning of life, Quotes, Tolstoy, Leo, Writers

‘Rules for living’ by Leo Tolstoy, aged 18

At some point most of us take stock of our life, and maybe draw up a life list to get us where we want to go. I've written a few myself! Here is such a list from one of the greatest writers in history - Leo Tolstoy. Here is a list from the great Russian… Continue reading ‘Rules for living’ by Leo Tolstoy, aged 18

Book lists, Book trivia

Survey: Classic books Brits want to read

Survey: Classic books British people have read or would like to read Life's too short to read classic books for any other reason than it's something we love to do. Once read they become part of us - part of our mental furniture - friends and companions for the rest of our lives. With that… Continue reading Survey: Classic books Brits want to read

Book trivia, Dickens, Charles, Nicholas Nickleby, Worst couples in literature, Writers

11 worst couples in literature: Madeline Bray and Arthur Gride from Nicholas Nickleby

No. 4.  Madeline Bray and Arthur Gride from Nicholas Nickleby (Charles Dickens) Spoiler alert! The only reason this marriage doesn't happen is that Madeline's father dies one hour before the ceremony is due to begin. But imagine if it had. She is a sweet-natured 18 year old beauty, while he is a 75 year old… Continue reading 11 worst couples in literature: Madeline Bray and Arthur Gride from Nicholas Nickleby