World Book Day Quiz
✨ LUCY EATON
One of the most eccentric and enjoyable events we have done to date was the launch of Reading in Heels, at the beautiful Bloomsbury Hotel. Our team of professional actors led a dramatised, book-themed quiz in which moments from much-loved novels were reenacted and guests had to guess the book, the author and the characters interacting. Seeing as it's World Book Day today and International Women's Day on Sunday, we thought it might be fun to test you on some of the finest of female-written literature.
If you don't know an answer, tweet us @revelsinhand and one of our social media team will get back to you with the information you're after!
1 novel, 1 author and 2 characters to guess...
‘Will you keep a secret for me?’ the girl said, kneeling down by me, and lifting her winsome eyes to my face with that sort of look which turns off bad temper, even when one has all the right in the world to indulge it.
‘Is it worth keeping?’ I inquired, less sulkily.
‘Yes, and it worries me, and I must let it out! I want to know what I should do. To-day, Edgar has asked me to marry him, and I’ve given him an answer. Now, before I tell you whether it was a consent or denial, you tell me which it ought to have been.’
‘Really, Miss, how can I know?’ I replied. ‘To be sure, considering the exhibition you performed in his presence this afternoon, I might say it would be wise to refuse him: since he asked you after that, he must either be hopelessly stupid or a venturesome fool.’
‘If you talk so, I won’t tell you any more,’ she returned, peevishly rising to her feet. ‘I accepted him. Be quick, and say whether I was wrong!’
‘You accepted him! Then what good is it discussing the matter? You have pledged your word, and cannot retract.’
‘But say whether I should have done so—do!’ she exclaimed in an irritated tone; chafing her hands together, and frowning.
‘There are many things to be considered before that question can be answered properly,’ I said, sententiously. ‘First and foremost, do you love Mr. Edgar?’
‘Who can help it? Of course I do,’ she answered.
Then I put her through the following catechism: for a girl of twenty-two it was not injudicious.
‘Why do you love him, Miss?’
‘Nonsense, I do—that’s sufficient.’
‘By no means; you must say why?’
‘Well, because he is handsome, and pleasant to be with.’
‘Bad!’ was my commentary.
‘And because he is young and cheerful.’
‘And because he loves me.’
‘Indifferent, coming there.’
‘And he will be rich, and I shall like to be the greatest woman of the neighbourhood, and I shall be proud of having such a husband.’
‘Worst of all. And now, say how you love him?’
‘As everybody loves—You’re silly.’
‘Not at all—Answer.’
‘I love the ground under his feet, and the air over his head, and everything he touches, and every word he says. I love all his looks, and all his actions, and him entirely and altogether. There now!’
‘Nay; you are making a jest of it: it is exceedingly ill-natured! It’s no jest to me!’ said the young lady, scowling, and turning her face to the fire.
‘I’m very far from jesting, Miss,’ I replied. ‘You love Mr. Edgar because he is handsome, and young, and cheerful, and rich, and loves you. The last, however, goes for nothing: you would love him without that, probably; and with it you wouldn’t, unless he possessed the four former attractions.’
‘No, to be sure not: I should only pity him—hate him, perhaps, if he were ugly, and a clown.’
‘But there are several other handsome, rich young men in the world: handsomer, possibly, and richer than he is. What should hinder you from loving them?’
‘If there be any, they are out of my way: I’ve seen none like Edgar.’
‘You may see some; and he won’t always be handsome, and young, and may not always be rich.’
‘He is now; and I have only to do with the present. I wish you would speak rationally.’
‘Well, that settles it: if you have only to do with the present, marry Mr. Edgar.’
‘I don’t want your permission for that—I shall marry him: and yet you have not told me whether I’m right.’
‘Perfectly right; if people be right to marry only for the present. And now, let us hear what you are unhappy about. Your brother will be pleased; the old lady and gentleman will not object, I think; you will escape from a disorderly, comfortless home into a wealthy, respectable one; and you love Edgar, and Edgar loves you. All seems smooth and easy: where is the obstacle?’
‘Here! and here!’ replied Catherine, striking one hand on her forehead, and the other on her breast: ‘in whichever place the soul lives. In my soul and in my heart, I’m convinced I’m wrong!’
1 novel, 1 author and 2 characters to guess...
“There are rose-water wafers for you” she says, “with cinnamon and ginger. Cook has a new griddle.”
The wife wonders what Cook has done to deserve a new griddle.
“I thought you said an empty belly was better for the soul”. She feels the accusations boiling up inside her, ready to burst forth.
“Eat” says her sister-in-law. “Please. Then let us talk.”
The young woman take the plate. The wafers are gold and crisped to perfection and the rosewater mingles with the warming ginger. From the corner Peebo squawks in his cage, as if he senses the reluctant pleasure his owner is feeling.
“Perhaps you would like to get out of bed.”she says, sounding like a queen trying to be friends with a peasant.
“My life here is over.” The young woman pushes the plate of unfinished wafers towards her sister-in-law. “No more of your orders. I understand it all.”
“But I wonder if you do?”
“I do”. She takes a deep breath. “There is something you must know.”
“What?” Blood flushes into the woman’s pale face. “What is it?”
Momentarily powerful by her withheld knowledge, the wife crosses her hands on the coverlet and stares into the grave eyes of the woman sitting beside her. Her body feels heavy, anchored to the bed.
“There’s a reason I’ve stayed in here all week, Madame. Your brother - no, I can barely say it.”
“Your brother is - a sodomite. “
The hardened image of Johannes and Jack bursts to fresh life in her mind. A flake of pastry sticks in her throat. Still her sister-in-law does not speak, examining instead the embroidery of the bedcover.
“I’ve very sorry you are upset.” she finally says in a quiet voice. “Johannes is unlike most husbands, I admit.” She turned her face to the expectant girl, a book showing its pages.
“You knew? You knew?” She feels the sob come - this is almost worse than being her husband naked on his office couch with Jack. “Dear God. I am your fool - I’ve been a fool since the moment I arrived.”
“We have not laughed at you. Ever. You are no one’s fool.”
“You’ve humiliated me. And I’ve seen it with my own eyes now. You knew that Johannes would not love me!”
“I wondered how he could not. I - do not always understand… He likes you.”
“Like a pet. I cannot forgive this trick, this shame - you knew what this would be for me. The nights I waited -“
“I did not see it as a trick. It was an opportunity. For everyone.”
“Did Johannes even pick me himself?
“I thought the arrangement would satisfy everyone.”
The young wife pushes the plate onto the floorboards where it breaks in three pieces. “And what opportunity have I had” she cries. “You’ve controlled everything. You’ve ordered my clothes, you hold the ledger book, you drag me to church, you push me into guild feasts where everyone stares at me. I was so grateful when you let me play the lute. Pathetic. I’m supposed to be the wife in this house but I’m no better than Cook. And how can I be happy with a man who is going to burn in hell?”
1 novel, 1 author and 2 characters to guess...
She, for a few moments remained silent. Her astonishment at what she heard was at first too great for words
"May I ask if your engagement is of long standing?"
"We have been engaged these four years."
"I did not know," said she, "that you were even acquainted till the other day."
"Our acquaintance, however, is of many years date. He was under my uncle's care, you know, a considerable while."
"Yes; Mr. Pratt. Did you never hear him talk of Mr. Pratt?"
"I think I have,"she replied, with an exertion of spirits, which increased with her increase of emotion.
"It was then our engagement was formed. I was very unwilling to enter into it, as you may imagine, without the knowledge and approbation of his mother; but I was too young, and loved him too well, to be so prudent as I ought to have been.— Though you do not know him so well as me, you must have seen enough of him to be sensible he is very capable of making a woman sincerely attached to him."
"Certainly," she answered, without knowing what she said; but after a moment's reflection, she added, with revived security of his honour and love, and her companion's falsehood—"Engaged to him!—I confess myself so totally surprised at what you tell me, that really—I beg your pardon; but surely there must be some mistake of person or name. We cannot mean the same man."
"We can mean no other ,you must allow that I am not likely to be deceived as to the name of the man on who all my happiness depends."
"It is strange,"she replied in a most painful perplexity, "that I should never have heard him even mention your name."
"No; considering our situation, it was not strange. Our first care has been to keep the matter secret.— You knew nothing of me, or my family, and, therefore, there could be no OCCASION for ever mentioning my name to you; and, as he was always particularly afraid of his sister's suspecting any thing, THAT was reason enough for his not mentioning it."
Then taking a small miniature from her pocket, she added, "To prevent the possibility of mistake, be so good as to look at this face. It does not do him justice, to be sure, but yet I think you cannot be deceived as to the person it was drew for.—I have had it above these three years."
She took it into her hands; and when she saw the painting, whatever other doubts her fear of a too hasty decision, or her wish of detecting falsehood might suffer to linger in her mind, she could have none of its being his face. She returned it almost instantly, acknowledging the likeness.
1 novel, 1 author and 2 characters to guess...
You might as well come in, she said. She turned her back on me and limped down the hall. Shut the door behind you.
I didn't say anything to her. Aunt Lydia said it was best not to speak unless they asked you a direct question. Try to think of it from their point of view, she said, her hands clasped and wrung together, her nervous pleading smile. It isn't easy for them.
In here, said the Commander's Wife. When I went into the sitting room she was already in her chair, her left foot on the footstool, with its petit point cushion, roses in a basket. Her knitting was on the floor beside the chair, the needles stuck through it.
I stood in front of her, hands folded. So, she said. She had a cigarette, and she put it between her lips and gripped it there while she lit it. The cigarettes must have come from the black market, I thought, and this gave me hope. Even now that there is no real money anymore, there's still a black market. There's always a black market, there's always something that can be exchanged. She then was a woman who might bend the rules. But what did I have, to trade?
I looked at the cigarette with longing. For me, like liquor and coffee, they are forbidden. So old what's-his-face didn't work out, she said.
No, ma'am, I said.
She gave what might have been a laugh, then coughed. Tough luck on him, she said. This is
your second, isn't it?
Third, ma'am, I said.
Not so good for you either, she said. There was another coughing laugh. You can sit down. I
don't make a practice of it, but just this time.
I did sit, on the edge of one of the stiff-backed chairs. Now her face was on a level with mine. I thought I recognized her; or at least there was something familiar about her. Her eyebrows were plucked into thin arched lines, which gave her a permanent look of surprise, or outrage, or inquisitiveness, such as you might see on a startled child, but below them her eyelids were tired-looking. Not so her eyes, which were the flat hostile blue of a midsummer sky in bright sunlight, a blue that shuts you out. Her nose must once have been what was called cute but now was too small for her face. Her face was not fat but it was large. Two lines led downward from the corners of her mouth; between them was her chin, clenched like a fist.
I want to see as little of you as possible, she said. I expect you feel the same way about me.
I didn't answer, as a yes would have been insulting, a no contradictory.
I know you aren't stupid, she went on. She inhaled, blew out the smoke. I've read your file. As far as I'm concerned, this is like a business transaction. But if I get trouble, I'll give trouble back.
Yes, ma'am, I said.
Don't call me ma'am, she said irritably. You're not a Martha.
I didn't ask what I was supposed to call her, because I could see that she hoped I would never have the occasion to call her anything at all.
As for my husband, she said, he's just that. My husband. I want that to be perfectly clear. Till death do us part. It's final.
Yes, ma'am, I said again, forgetting. They used to have dolls, for little girls, that would talk if you pulled a string at the back; I thought I was sounding like that, voice of a monotone, voice of a doll. She probably longed to slap my face. They can hit us, there's Scriptural precedent. But not with any implement. Only with their hands.
It's one of the things we fought for, said the Commander's Wife, and suddenly she wasn't looking at me, she was looking down at her knuckled, diamond-studded hands, and I knew where I'd seen her before.
1 novel, 1 author and 2 characters to guess...
That evening while her sister was writing to her father, she slipped upstairs into her mother's room, and found her in her usual place, stood a minute twisting her fingers in her hair, with a worried gesture and an undecided look.
"What is it, deary?" asked Mother, holding out her hand, with a face which invited confidence.
"I want to tell you something, Mother."
"About your sister?"
"How quickly you guessed! Yes, it's about her, and though it's a little thing, it fidgets me."
"Your sisters are asleep. Speak low, and tell me all about it. That Moffat hasn't been here, I hope?" she asked rather sharply.
"No. I should have shut the door in his face if he had," she said, settling herself on the floor at her mother's feet. "Last summer she left a pair of gloves over at the Laurences' and only one was returned. We forgot about it, till someone told me that Mr. Brooke owned that he liked her but didn't dare say so, she was so young and he so poor. Now, isn't it a dreadful state of things?"
"Do you think she cares for him?" she asked , with an anxious look.
"Mercy me! I don't know anything about love and such nonsense!" she cried, with a funny mixture of interest and contempt. "In novels, the girls show it by starting and blushing, fainting away, growing thin, and acting like fools. Now she does not do anything of the sort. She eats and drinks and sleeps like a sensible creature, she looks straight in my face when I talk about that man, and only blushes a little bit when Teddy jokes about lovers. I forbid him to do it, but he doesn't mind me as he ought."
"Then you fancy that she is not interested in John?"
"Who?" she cried, staring.
"Mr. Brooke. I call him 'John' now. We fell into the way of doing so at the hospital, and he likes it."
"Oh, dear! I know you'll take his part. He's been good to Father, and you won't send him away, but let her marry him, if she wants to. Mean thing! To go petting Papa and helping you, just to wheedle you into liking him." And she pulled her hair again with a wrathful tweak.
"My dear, don't get angry about it, and I will tell you how it happened. John went with me at Mr. Laurence's request, and was so devoted to poor Father that we couldn't help getting fond of him. He was perfectly open and honorable about your sister, for he told us he loved her, but would earn a comfortable home before he asked her to marry him. He only wanted our leave to love her and work for her, and the right to make her love him if he could. He is a truly excellent young man, and we could not refuse to listen to him, but I will not consent to your sister's engaging herself so young."
"Of course not. It would be idiotic! I knew there was mischief brewing. I felt it, and now it's worse than I imagined. I just wish I could marry her myself, and keep her safe in the family."
This odd arrangement made her mother smile, but she said gravely, "I confide in you and don't wish you to say anything to your sister yet. When John comes back, and I see them together, I can judge better of her feelings toward him."
"She'll see those handsome eyes that she talks about, and then it will be all up with her. She's got such a soft heart, it will melt like butter in the sun if anyone looks sentimentlly at her. She read the short reports he sent more than she did your letters, and pinched me when I spoke of it, and likes brown eyes, and doesn't think John an ugly name, and she'll go and fall in love, and there's an end of peace and fun, and cozy times together. I see it all! They'll go lovering around the house, and we shall have to dodge. She will be absorbed and no good to me any more. He will scratch up a fortune somehow, carry her off, and make a hole in the family, and I shall break my heart, and everything will be abominably uncomfortable. Oh, dear me! Why weren't we all boys, then there wouldn't be any bother. Hadn't you rather have her marry a rich man?" she asked.
"Money is a good and useful thing, and I hope my girls will never feel the need of it too bitterly, nor be tempted by too much. I should like to know that John was firmly established in some good business, which gave him an income large enough to keep free from debt and make your sister comfortable. I'm not ambitious for a splendid fortune, a fashionable position, or a great name for my girls. If rank and money come with love and virtue, also, I should accept them gratefully, and enjoy your good fortune, but I know, by experience, how much genuine happiness can be had in a plain little house, where the daily bread is earned, and some privations give sweetness to the few pleasures. I am content to see your sister begin humbly, for if I am not mistaken, she will be rich in the possession of a good man's heart, and that is better than a fortune."
1 novel, 1 author and 3 characters to guess...
“Mother, wait a second!” I holler from the kitchen. I race outside but Mother’s car is already down the lane. The dread in my stomach is flat and hard and hot, like a brick in the sun. I watch the Cadillac. Down by the road it slows, then jerks to a stop. Then it goes again. Then stops. Then slowly reverses and zigzags its way back up the hill. By the grace of a god I never really liked, much less believed in, my mother is actually coming back.
“I can’t believe I forgot Sue Anne’s casserole dish…”
I jump in the front passenger seat. “Drive me back to town. I need to pick something up.”
Mother’s car hasn’t moved. “I have a million things to do today - “
The panic is rising in my throat. “Mama, please just drive. Before I’m too late.”
“Now look”, Mother says, “I have some personal errands to run.”
“It’ll take you five minutes. Just drive Mama!”
She keeps her white-gloved hands on the steering wheel her lips pressed together. “I happen to have something confidential to do today.”
I can’t imagine my mother has anything more important to do than what I’m staring down the throat of. “Oh God, just hurry Mother!”
“Fine”, and she moves the gear shift carefully into drive. We roll down the lane at about one tenth of a mile an hour. At the end of the lane, she puts on her linker like she’s doing brain surgery and creeps the Cadillac out on to the County road. I press my imaginary accelerator. “Mama” I finally say “just let me drive the car”.
A few minutes later I’m ringing the doorbell. The first moment will tell me everything. My friend is an exceptional liar, except for the moment right before she speaks. The door opens. Her mouth is tight and red. I look down at her hands. They are knotted together like ropes. I’ve arrived too late.
“Well that was quick.” she says and I follow her inside. My heart is seizing inside my chest. I’m not sure I’m breathing at all. “Your satchel’s over there, the ugly thing. I hope you don’t mind, I had to check something in the minutes from the meeting.”
I stare at her, my best friend, trying to see just what she’s read in my things. But her smile is professional if not sparkling. The telling moments are gone.
“Can I get you something to sip on?
“No I’m fine” Then I add, “want to hit balls at the club later?”
“William’s got a campaign meeting and then we’re going to the pictures.”
Slowly I move down to the end of the dining table, like she might pounce on me if I move too fast. She picks up a sterling fork from the sideboard, thrums her index finger along the tines.
“It’s gorgeous weather out.”
Casually, I tick through the papers in my satchel. The booklet - I tick through again - it’s gone.
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