The Third Oxfam Literary Quiz

It took place on Tuesday 13th at 78 in Glasgow, and as promised, here are the questions.


The answers to each of these questions includes one of the 32 countries present at the World Cup in South Africa. Beware of homonyms

1. In which country is Hamlet set?

2. Which country gets its name from the title of an epic poem written by Spanish cleric Martin del Barco Centenera in 1602?

3. In which country was crime writer Ngaio Marsh born?

4. James Clavell’s epic 1975 novel Shogun was set in which country?

5. Which writer of schoolgirl fiction’s books include The Fortunes of Philippa?

6. In which country was Ben Okri born?

7. What is the title of John Le Carré’s 1968 spy novel set in Bonn?

8. Who wrote the children’s novel The Owl Service?

9. In which country was Albert Camus born?

10. Which French poet, novelist and playwright won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1922?


11. What is the first book of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy?

12. Which Labour peer wrote the 2006 novel The Minotaur?

13. Which three headed creature was tricked into eating drugged honey cakes in Virgil’s Aeneid?

14. Who is the Invisible Man in HG Wells’ 1897 novel?

15. What is an Ent?

16. In whose books do the Nac Mac Feegles appear?

17. What kind of creature is CS Lewis’s Mr Tumnus?

18. Who wrote the children’s novel The Phoenix and the Carpet?

19. Who wrote the poem The Kraken?

20. Complete the quote from Psalms 22:21. “Save me from the Lion’s mouth; for thou hast heard me from the horns of…”


21. Which railway station takes its name from a Walter Scott novel?

22. Who wrote the poem Adlestrop about an unscheduled stop at a rural station?

23. “This is the night mail crossing the border / bringing the cheque and the postal order” Name the poem and poet

24. Who is Michael Bond’s most famous creation?

25. What is the name of Elizabeth Smart’s 1945 prose-poem about her affair with British poet George Barker?

26. In 2007, Peter Ashley edited a collection of poems called Railway Rhymes. Which station’s grand reopening was the book published to coincide with?

27. Who were Roberta, Peter and Phyllis Waterbury?

28. Which detective features in Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express?

29. How does Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina die?

30. Who created Thomas the Tank Engine?


31. Which publisher was set up by an Arran-born son of crofters and grandfather of a twentieth century Prime Minister in 1843?

32. Which publisher shares its name with an area of london between Euston and Holborn that includes the British Museum?

33. Which publisher is named after a small seabird of the auk family?

34. Which publisher’s name is defined as a noisy, scolding and domineering woman?

35. For which publisher did TS Eliot begin working in 1925?

36. Which publisher is named after a fish-eating bird with a large throat pouch?

37. Which publisher gets its name from the Greek god of shepherds and flocks?

38. Which publisher was co-founded by Carly Simon’s father in 1924?

39. Which publisher was known mainly for its Beatrix Potter and Observers’ books

40. What is the largest University publisher in the world?


All I need is the thing/person/book that comes fourth in the sequence. Oh, and why too

41. 1974; 1977; 1980

42. John Betjeman; Ted Hughes; Andrew Motion

43. The Jewel in the Crown; The Day of the Scorpion; The Towers of Silence

44. In historical order – Henry VI Part 1; Henry VI Part 2; Henry VI Part 3

45. 6 – Heresy; 7 – Violence; 8 – Fraud

46. 1950 Bertrand Russell; 1951 Pär Lagerkvist; 1952 Francois Mauriac

47. Sodom and Gomorrah; The Prisoner; The Fugitive

48. 2006 Kiran Desai; 2007 Anne Enright; 2008 Aravind Adiga

49. Casino Royale; Live and Let Die; Moonraker

50. The Knight; The Miller; The Reeve


Ten writers. All I need to know is whether they were born in Scotland (Scot) or elsewhere (Not)

51. Alistair Maclean

52. Compton Mackenzie

53. Doris Lessing

54. Denise Mina

55. Hugh MacLennan

56. Colleen McCullough

57. Neil Gunn

58. James Kelman

59. Naomi Mitchison

60. John Banville

The answers are in the comments box


2 responses to “The Third Oxfam Literary Quiz

  1. 1. Denmark
    2. Argentina
    3. New Zealand
    4. Japan
    5. Angela Brazil
    6. Nigeria
    7. A Small Town In Germany
    8. Alan Garner
    9. Algeria
    10. Anatole France

    11. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
    12. Ruth Rendell writing under her pen name Barbara Vine – point for either
    13. Cerberus
    14. Griffin
    15. A treeherder or walking / talking tree (Lord of the Rings)
    16. Terry Pratchett
    17. Faun
    18. E Nesbit
    19. Alfred Tennyson
    20. Unicorns

    21. Waverley (Edinburgh)
    22. Edward Thomas
    23. Night Mail – WH Auden
    24. Paddington Bear
    25. By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept
    26. St Pancras International
    27. The Railway Children
    28. Hercule Poirot
    29. She throws herself in front of a train
    30. Reverend W Awdry

    31. MacMillan
    32. Bloomsbury
    33. Puffin
    34. Virago
    35. Faber and Faber
    36. Pelican
    37. Pan
    38. Simon and Schuster
    39. Frederick Warne
    40. Oxford University Press

    41. 1983 – David Peace’s Red Riding Quartet
    42. Carol Anne Duffy – the last four poets laureate
    43. A Division of the Spoils – Paul Scott’s Raj Quartet
    44. Richard III – Shakespeare’s History Plays
    45. 9 – Betrayal – the innermost four circles of hell from Dante’s Inferno
    46. 1953 Winston Churchill – Nobel Prize for Literature winners
    47. Time Regained – The final four volumes of Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time aka Remembrance of things Past aka a La Recherche du Temps Perdu
    48. 2009 Hilary Mantel – Booker Prize winners
    49. Diamonds are Forever – Ian Fleming’s James Bond books in order of publication (a totally different sequence to the films)
    50. The Cook – first four of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales

    51. SCOT – Glasgow
    52. NOT – Hartlepool
    53. NOT – Iran
    54. SCOT – Glasgow
    55. NOT – Nova Scotia, Canada
    56. NOT – Wellington, Australia
    57. SCOT – Dunbeath
    58. SCOT – Glasgow
    59. SCOT – Edinburgh
    60. NOT – Wexford, Ireland

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