What the Dickens – literary quiz

Two 2012 adaptations of Great Expectations have Miss Havisham played by Helena Bonham Carter (45) and Gillian Anderson (43). But how old is the jilted spinster in Dickens’s book?

  1. Early twenties
  2. Early thirties
  3. Early forties
  4. Early fifties

Oliver Twist, or The Parish Boy’s Progress, was first published…

  1. As a political pamphlet criticising the Poor Law
  2. In monthly instalments in the magazine Bentley’s Miscellany
  3. While Dickens was still at school
  4. After Dickens’s death

Which Dickens character has been played by Albert Finney, Roger Daltrey, Anthony Newley, Kelsey Grammer, Patrick Stewart and Michael Caine?

  1. Oliver Twist
  2. Scrooge
  3. Fagin
  4. Little Nell

Where was Dickens forced to work when he was 12 and his father was taken to Marshalsea debtors’ prison?

  1. In an undertaker’s
  2. In a counting house
  3. In a cotton mill
  4. In a boot-blacking factory

Which Dickens novel made him a household name aged only 25?

  1. Nicholas Nickleby
  2. The Pickwick Papers
  3. David Copperfield
  4. Barnaby Rudge

Which of Dickens’s books has sold more than 200 million copies, more than any other single volume book in the world?

  1. Bleak House
  2. Oliver Twist
  3. Great Expectations
  4. A Tale of Two Cities

In which county is the Dickens- themed theme park Dickens World?

  1. Yorkshire
  2. Greater London
  3. Kent
  4. There is no such place

How old was the actress Ellen Lawless Ternan when 44-year-old Dickens met her and subsequently left his wife for her?

  1. 16
  2. 18
  3. 44
  4. 56

Which of these fancifully named people is not a character in a Dickens novel?

  1. Davey Pewter
  2. Luke Honeythunder
  3. Jerry Cruncher
  4. Thomas Gradgrind

Which of these was not written by a descendant of Dickens?

  1. My Turn to Make the Tea by Monica Dickens
  2. The Virgin Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock by Lucinda Hawksley
  3. The Life and Times of Little Ben by Benjamin Dickens
  4. A Christmas Carol by Gerald Charles Dickens, a one-man show in which he plays 26 characters.

In Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cranford, Captain Brown is killed after falling under the wheels of a train. What Dickens story was the unfortunate captain reading just before he fell to his death?

  1. The Pickwick Papers
  2. Barnaby Rudge
  3. The Old Curiosity Shop
  4. Little Dorrit

What was the pseudonym Dickens used in his early fiction?

  1. Chaz
  2. Charlemagne
  3. Boz
  4. Dickie

John was one of Dickens’s middle names – what was the other?

  1. Humphrey
  2. Huffam
  3. Harmsworth
  4. Higham

Which of the following Dickens-related addresses is not a museum dedicated to him?

  1. 393 Commercial Road, Portsmouth, where he was born
  2. 48 Doughty Street in London, where he lived
  3. Gad’s Hill Place in Rochester, where he died
  4. 2 Victoria Parade in Broadstairs, the inspiration for Betsey Trotwood’s house in David Copperfield

In which novel by Evelyn Waugh does the protagonist end up trapped in the jungle with a madman who makes him read Dickens out loud?

  1. Black Mischief
  2. Vile Bodies
  3. A Handful of Dust
  4. Decline and Fall

Which are the cities referred to in the title of A Tale of Two Cities?

  1. London and Edinburgh
  2. Paris and Rome
  3. Dublin and New York.
  4. London and Paris

“Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.” The opening line of which novel?

  1. Dombey and Son
  2. Barnaby Rudge
  3. Nicholas Nickleby
  4. David Copperfield

The philosopher and critic George Henry Lewes took issue with what, when Bleak House was published?

  1. The satire of women activists through the character of Mrs Jellyby
  2. Dickens’s satire on the laws of chancery
  3. The high number of deaths
  4. The death of Krook by spontaneous combustion

“You would need to have a heart of stone not to laugh at the death of Little Nell,” declared Oscar Wilde. In which novel does the famously sentimental death occur?

  1. Little Dorrit
  2. The Old Curiosity Shop
  3. A Christmas Carol
  4. Our Mutual Friend

In December 2010, Oprah Winfrey chose two novels by Dickens as her Christmas book club selection, then surprised audiences by doing what?

  1. Declaring she privately hated Dickens
  2. Saying she couldn’t be bothered to read them herself
  3. Admitting she had never actually read any Dickens
  4. Reciting a passage of Little Dorri

Happy quizzing!

Loes M.

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