Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Biography Pop Quiz: Questions from Real Lives Revealed

Roche, Rick. Real Lives Revealed: A Guide to Reading Interests in Biography. Libraries Unlimited/ABC-Clio. 2009. 601p. ISBN 9781591586647.

Real Lives Revealed: A Guide to Reading Interests in Biography officially publishes today. It is the second book in the Real Stories Series, following The Inside Scoop: A Guide to Nonfiction Investigative Writing and Exposes by Sarah Statz Cords. Instead of writing a review of my own book, which would hardly be unbiased, I offer a biography pop quiz. All of the answers can be found in my book. How fast can you get your hands on one? I will reveal the answers next week.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. In Eminent Victorians, Lytton Strachey did not write about

a. Florence Nightingale
b. Matthew Arnold
c. Henry Edward Manning
d. Charles George Gordon

2. Supreme Court Justice John Marshall wrote a biography of

a. Thomas Jefferson
b. John Adams
c. George Washington
d. Thomas Paine

3. Sheriff Pat Garrett shot the outlaw know as

a. William H. Bonney
b. Billy the Kid
c. Henry McCarty
d. all of the above

4. Journalist Martha Gellhorn died from

a. natural causes
b. suicide
c. cancer
d. malaria

5. On Illustrious Men (De Viris Illustribus) was written by

a. Cornelius Nepos
b. Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus
c. Diogenes Laertius
d. all of the above

6. Singer Michael Jackson claimed that his life was changed by reading a biography of

a. John Lennon
b. Harry Houdini
c. P. T. Barnum
d. Paul Robeson

7. Elizabeth Barrett Browning had a dog named

a. Chaucer
b. Sappho
c. Flush
d. Puck

8. President Abraham Lincoln's friends did not included

a. Joshua Speed
b. David Herbert Donald
c. Orville Browning
d. William Herndon

9. After their baseball careers ended, Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth developed a friendship while

a. playing tennis
b. betting on horses
c. golfing
d. fly fishing

10. J. Randy Taraborrelli has not written a biography of

a. Madonna
b. Cher
c. Barbara Streisand
d. Elizabeth Taylor

True or False?

11. Ray Charles learned to play boogie-woogie piano before he was classically trained.

12. The pirate William Dampier was also a noted scientist who chartered ocean currents and drew tropical birds.

13. Ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev was born on a train near Lake Baikal in Siberia.

14. Martha Washington burned all of her letters to and from her husband George.

15. Jonas Salk suffered from polio as a child. He met Franklin Roosevelt in a New York hospital.

Bonus Question

16. Name the author of the first biography?

a. Samuel Johnson
b. James Boswell
c. Plutarch
d. Ion of Chios

Here's a hint for those who can use my book to answer these questions. Two of the questions are drawn from the Chronology of Biographical History that I include in the History of Biography at the front of the book. One question comes from Appendix B: Top Biographers. The others come from the 600 book reviews.

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