Arts Trivia Quiz

What famous British poet and playwright had an m--for "murderer"--branded on his left thumb?
A: Ben Jonson, for killing an actor in a duel in 1598. Jonson escaped the gallows by pleading benefit of clergy and forfeiting all his goods and chattels.

What famous character in literature was inspired by an Augustinian monk named Alonso Quizado?
A: Don Quixote.

What was popular author Louis L'Amour's real name?
A: Louis La Moore.

The title of what poetic drama by Robert Browning was used to name a Kentucky town?
A: Pippa Passes.

What did L. Fran Baum, author of the The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, call his home in Hollywood?
A: Ozcot.

What is the real name of the evil Batman comic strip character known as the Riddler?
A: E. Nigma.  The E. is for Edward.

What were the names of the brothers Karamozov in the novel by Feodor Dostoevsky?
A :Dmitri, Ivan, Alexei and Smerdyakov.

What exotic city was featured in National Geographic magazine's first photo story in 1905?
A: Lhasa, Tibet.

What was the name of Dick and Jane's baby sister in elementary school primers of old?
A: Sally.

What was mystery writer Dashiell Hammett's first name?
A: Samuel, or Sam.

How many exclamation points did author Tom Wolfe use in his blockbuster bestseller The Bonfire of the Vanities?
A: 2,343.

What is the literary source of the F. Scott Fitzgerald book title Tender Is the Night?
A: Keats' poem Ode to a Nightingale.

Why was Clark Kent -- alias Superman--rejected for military service during World War II?
A: He failed the eye test portion of the Army physical. Because of his X-ray vision, he inadvertently read an eye chart in another room.

What is the native language of English playwright Tom Stoppard, author of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Travesties and The Real Thing?

A: Czech.  He was born Thomas Straussler in Zlin, Czechoslovakia, 1937.  Stoppard is the name of the British Army officer his mother married in 1946.

What was Captain Queeg's first name and rank in the 1951 novel--and later movie-- The Caine Mutiny?
A: First name, Philip; rank, lieutenant commander.

Under what name did Italian artist Jocopo Robusti gain world renown?
A: Tintorette.  Robusti's nickname--Italian for "little dyer"--was bestowed on him because his father was a dyer, or tintore, of silk.

What title did Russian author Leo Tolstoy originally give to the novel we know as War and Peace?
A: All's Well That Ends Well.

What classic adventure story did author William Styron reject when he was a reader for the McGraw-Hill--a mistake he had his narrator, Stingo, repeat in his novel Sophie's Choice?
A: Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl.

Vincent Van Gogh's painting Sunflowers was sold at auction for $39.9 million in 1987. How much did that come to per sunflower?
A: $2.66 million.  There are 15 sunflowers in the painting.

What famous character in English literature made his debut in Beeton's Christmas Annual in 1887?
A: Sherlock Holmes. His first published exploit was A Study  in Scarlet, for which Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was paid L25.

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