Tuesday 22 July 2008

Guess The Writer

I was thinking about books which have characters who are authors... was planning to make a top ten, then realised so many were rather Stuck-in-a-Book specialisms, and that I could remember so few, that instead I'd set a little quiz. So, can you name these characters who are writers, and the books in which they appear? (A browse through the books I've read this year would help you with one or two!) (May be occasional spoilers...)

Also, no.10 is blank - for you to fill! Characters who are writers, to whatever degree.

1.) Her manuscript was burnt by her sister.

2.) Struggling to follow up his masterpiece Jacob Wrestling, he eventually wrote a novel which began 'The cat sat on the mat'.

3.) Based on Marie Correlli, this selfish girl wrote romantic sagas, and didn't understand that a large percentage of her buying public was laughing at her.

4.) This Jewish writer had a typewriter called Minnie.

5.) This vicar's wife wrote romantic novels, dictating them to a secretary, and wrote so many at once that she got the plots and characters constantly confused.

6.) Two Victorian poets, whom 20th Century academics discover were lovers.

7.) She wrote detective novels about Finnish detective called Sven Hjerson, and was a parody of her own authoress.

8.) Having published a 'minute and unpretentious literary effort', her children compare her to 'Shakespeare, Dickens, author of the Dr. Dolittle books' and her husband says 'It is Funny - but does not look amused'.

9.) This detective novelist was arrested for the murder of her lover, and later married a man with a monocle.



  1. Without sneaking back to previous posts the only two I can name with confidence are:

    1: Jo March from Little Women

    6: Christabel LaMotte and Randolph(?) Blank from Posession.

  2. Names are escaping me (totally forgotten) but:

    The central character of Martin Amis's The Information - a very good Amis sending up the literati.

    The central character of Terence Blacker's Kill our Darlings - an absolute delight and also sending up the literati.

  3. Sorry - It's Kill YOUR Darlings

  4. 2. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith - Mr Mortmain
    3. Angel by Elizabeth Taylor - Angel Deverell

  5. 9 is Harriet Vane in Strong Poison (and Hangman's Holiday/Gaudy Night/Busman's Honeymoon) - Dorothy L. Sayers. (Is that the only four Wimsey books Harriet's actually in?)

  6. Simon, you do think of the most ingenious topics to post on.

    The only one I can name off the top of my head is Cassandra's father - Mr Mortmain - in I Capture the Castle.

    And, another book with a character that is a writer is Ludo in Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor.

    Oh, and Anne in the Anne of Green Gables novels....

  7. 1.) Jo from Little Women

    and I should know #6, but I'm drawing a blank! Can't wait to see the other answers!

  8. 7 is Ariadne Oliver, who featured in several Agatha Christie novels. Off the top of my head: Pale Horse, Elephant's Can Remember, Cards on the Table, Third Girl, Dead Man's Folly... that might be it.

    The only other one I got was 1, and 6 I guessed correctly.

  9. Number 5 sounds like Josephine Tey, except the character wasn't a vicar's wife, iirc.

  10. Oh! Number 4 is Toby, from The L-Shaped Room, I think. But it's been a long time since I read it, and I don't know where my copy is, so can't check.


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