Here are the answers to the quiz posted last week. The winner will receive a signed first edition of Lynn Shepherd’s new novel, A Treacherous Likeness, which was inspired by the Shelleys. You can read Andrew Taylor’s Spectator review of A Treacherous Likeness here, or subscribe to do so here.
1 Who as a child
a) Sent a cat up in a kite in the midst of a storm – Shelley
b) Lost his father at the age of eight when he died falling from his horse – Keats
c) Was bullied by his eight older brothers – Coleridge
d) Played in the very first Eton versus Harrow cricket match at Lord’s – Byron
a) Left a Cambridge college to enlist in the army under the name ‘Silas Comberbache’ – Coleridge
b) Wrote part of his first major work in an Oxford college – Keats, he wrote part of Endymion while staying in Magdalen Hall
c) Kept a bear in a Cambridge college – Byron
d) Has a memorial in an Oxford college – Shelley, in University College
3 Who had
a) A wife who was the daughter of a tavern-owner – Shelley, his first wife, Harriet Westbrook
b) A wife whose father went bankrupt – Red herring
c) A wife who was the daughter of a colliery owner – Byron, Annabella Milbanke, daughter of Sir Ralph Milbanke of Seaham. The two were married for little more than a year before separating amid scandalous rumours.
d) No wife at all – Keats
a) Swam the Hellespont at the age of 22 – Byron
b) Was accused of pickpocketing as a child when acting out the swimming of the Hellespont – Coleridge
c) Said ‘I am in that temper that if I were under water I would scarcely kick to come to the top.’ – Keats
d) Could not swim – Shelley
5 Who has been portrayed on screen by
a) Hugh Grant – Byron, in Rowing with the Wind (1988)
b) Ben Whishaw – Keats, in Bright Star (2009)
c) Julian Sands – Shelley, in Gothic (1986)
d) Jonny Lee Miller – Red herring
6 Who had
a) No children – Keats
b) Two children – Byron, a legitimate daughter, Ada, with his wife, and an illegitimate daughter, Allegra, with Clare Clairmont. There were also rumours he had fathered his half-sister Augusta’s child.
c) Four children – Red herring
d) Six children – Shelley, two with Harriet, and four with Mary Shelley. Only one of Mary’s children survived beyond the age of five.
7 The poem ‘Julian and Maddalo’ was inspired by the relationship between
a) Keats and Shelley
b) Byron and Keats
c) Shelley and Byron – the poem is by Shelley; Keats and Byron never met.
8 Who left England for the last time in
a) 1814 – Red Herring
b) 1816 – Byron
c) 1818 – Shelley
d) 1820 – Keats
9 Who said
a) ‘I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart’s affections and the truth of the imagination.’ – Keats
b) ‘If I don’t write to empty my mind, I go mad.’ – Byron
c) ‘A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds’ – Shelley
d) ‘Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity.’ – Wordsworth
10 Who wrote a poem to
a) A skylark – Shelley
b) A nightingale – Keats
c) A green linnet – Wordsworth
d) A newfoundland dog – Byron
11 Who was the author of
a) The Bride of Abydos – Byron
b) The Complaint of Ninathoma – Coleridge
c) The Witch of Atlas – Shelley
d) The Eve of St Agnes – Keats
12 Who died of
a) Syphilis – Red herring
b) Fever – Byron, at Missolonghi in 1824, where he had gone to support the Greek struggle for independence. It is almost certain that his doctors hastened his death by bleeding him.
c) Drowning – Shelley, in Italy in 1822, after he insisted on setting out on his boat the Don Juan, despite warnings that bed weather was coming. His body was not found for ten days, by which time he recognisable only by his clothes and the book he carried.
d) Consumption – Keats, in 1820, in his lodgings by the Spanish Steps in Rome.
13 Who provoked the following contemporary reviews
a) ‘He is unhappily a disciple of the new school of what has been somewhere called Cockney poetry, which may be defined to consist of the most incongruous ideas in the most uncouth language.’ – Keats, a review of Endymion by John Wilson Croker in The Quarterly Review, April 1818.
b) ‘His effusions are spread over a dead flat, and can no more get above or below the level, than if they were so much stagnant water.’ – Byron, a review of Hours of Idleness by Henry Brougham in The Edinburgh Review, January 1808.
c) ‘This will never do! It bears no doubt the stamp of the author’s heart and fancy: But unfortunately not half so visibly as that of his peculiar system.’ – Wordsworth, it’s the beginning of a much-quoted review of The Excursion in The Edinburgh Review, 1814.
d) ‘We have spoken of [his] genius and it is doubtless of a high order; but when we look at the purposes to which it is directed, and contemplate the infernal character of all its efforts, our souls revolt with tenfold horror…’ – Shelley, review of Queen Mab in The London Literary Gazette, May 1821.
14 Who died at the age of
a) 25 – Keats
b) 27 – Red herring
c) 29 – Shelley
d) 36 – Byron
15 Whose memorial stone says
a) ‘Here lies one whose name was writ in water’ – Keats, at the Protestant cemetery in Rome
b) ‘But there is that within me which shall tire Torture and Time, and breathe when I expire’ – Byron, this is from his memorial in Poets’ Corner, Westminster Abbey.
c) ‘Nothing of him that doth fade, but doth suffer a sea change, into something rich and strange’ – Shelley, at the Protestant cemetery in Rome
d) ‘Stop, Christian passer-by! Stop, Child of God, And read with gentle breast, Beneath this sod A poet lies’ – Coleridge
Lynn Shepherd’s novel A Treacherous Likeness is inspired by the lives of the Shelleys, and is published by Corsair on February 7th. Her website is www.lynn-shepherd.com, and her Twitter ID is @Lynn_Shepherd.