Christmas Quiz 2019

Chiswick Book Festival Christmas Quiz 2019

In conjunction with The Chiswick Calendar.

While you’re lying semi-comatose on the sofa, digesting a gargantuan dinner, if you find yourself trapped between small children transfixed by Frozen 59 and the deaf old dear gently snoring in the armchair, and you’re looking for a little diversion, look no further …

We bring you an opportunity to broaden your general knowledge, with specific reference to where you live and its literary history. Pit your wits against the best in Chiswick for a chance to win a beautiful Folio Society edition of Alain-Fournier’s Le Grand Meaulnes (in English) – a book which is the subject of one of the quiz questions – kindly donated by Stephen and Sarah Foster of Foster Books.

To enter the competition

Answer these 40 questions. All the answers can be found in the Chiswick Timeline of Writers and Books, or its weblinks, on the Chiswick Book Festival website. A good starting point is this Quick Guide. Entries must be submitted by midnight on Sunday 5 January 2020. Simply email your answers to, putting ‘Quiz‘ in the subject box. There is no fee for entering but if you enjoy the quiz, you may like to make a donation to one of the three Chiswick Book Festival charities: The Felix Project, InterAct Stroke Support or Doorstep Library (but whether you do or not will have no bearing on who wins).

The winner will be the person who gets most answers right. In the event of a tie, there will be a draw for the winner, overseen by the editor of The Chiswick Calendar Bridget Osborne.  The judges’ decision will be final!


1. Which Chiswick newspaper editor revealed the plot (dramatised in The Crown) to overthrow Harold Wilson’s government and replace him with Lord Mountbatten?

2. Which west London food charity was founded by the great grandson of the illustrator of the Chiswick Shakespeare?

3. Who was the Star Wars actor who lived on a houseboat in Chiswick and whose wife wrote a book called ‘Swans at my Window’?

4. How did John Osborne receive the contract for his play Look Back in Anger to be produced at the Royal Court Theatre?

5. Who was the Government minister whose parents arranged for EM Forster to be celebrated with a blue plaque at Arlington Park Mansions?

6. Where in Chiswick did the author of Empire of The Sun enjoy walking with his children?

7. 175 years ago, how many giraffes in Chiswick greeted the Tsar of Russia and Prince Albert at ‘one of the grandest fetes ever held in England’?

8. What event in Chiswick connects Alain-Fournier’s Le Grand Meaulnes and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby?

9. What was Ralph Miliband doing in Chiswick when he wasn’t studying at Chiswick Public Library?

10. Which Nobel Prize winner lived in Blenheim Road?

11. Which Nobel Prize winner lived in Chiswick High Road?

12. Which Booker Prize winner lived in Barrowgate Road?

13. Which Oscar-winning writer lived in Hartington Road?

14. Which Oscar-winning actress lived on Chiswick Mall?

15. Name one of the two Chiswick writers buried in Poets Corner at Westminster Abbey.

16. In what year did a Poet Laureate and an exhibition help save the first garden suburb from the threat of redevelopment?

17. Which writer moved to Chiswick to mark William Shakespeare’s four hundredth birthday and discovered you could buy a house here for less than £3,000?

18. Name the autobiography of the comedy duo who started their career in digs with Mrs Duer in Clifton Gardens.

19. What is the name of the house at Strand on the Green where the author of The Pursuit of Love and a celebrated ballet dancer have both lived?

20. Name the wife of the vicar of St Nicholas Church in Chiswick who wrote 600 letters to an Austrian refugee during World War 2?

21. Which treasure in the Bodleian Library was created by William Morris when he lived in Chiswick High Road?

22. Which Chiswick gardener later became an MP and designed the Crystal Palace?

23. Who was the headmaster immortalised in the autobiography of a member of The Who, brought up in Chiswick?

24. Which Chiswick screenwriter received an Oscar nomination for a Beatles film?

25. Which Chiswick novelist’s “riotously funny account of a new mum who goes back to work as a spy” is recommended as a Christmas gift by the Telegraph’s Allison Pearson?

26. Who gave the director Peter Brook, born in Chiswick, a special theatre award last month?

27. Which Chiswick humorist died 50 years ago this month and was commemorated in The Oldie?

28. Which novel with scenes set in Chiswick was dramatised by Tom Stoppard for an award-winning BBC TV series starring Benedict Cumberbatch?

29. Who called Chiswick House “my earthly paradise”?

30. Name two people on the Chiswick Timeline of Writers and Books who created the musical Cats.

31. Which Chiswick-born collector has a gallery devoted to his finds in the Museum of London?

32. Name two artists on the Chiswick Timeline of art and maps, the mural at Turnham Green tube station, who also appear on the Chiswick Timeline of Writers and Books?

33. Which two addresses in Chiswick have rival claims to be where Becky Sharpe threw the dictionary in Vanity Fair?

34. In which book does GK Chesterton parody Bedford Park as “Saffron Park”?

35. Where in Chiswick House can you find a portrait of Alexander Pope?

36. Name the trilogy of novels, featuring scenes in Chiswick, by the writer commemorated with a blue plaque in Burlington Gardens.

37. 60 years ago, who topped the bill at the final performance at the Chiswick Empire?

38. Which member of a famous chocolate family has written about Queen Victoria’s matchmaking?

39. Which Prime Minister is identified as No 100 in the key to the painting ‘The Royal Garden Party at Chiswick’.

40. Which Sunday newspaper carried the headline “Put the word out: Chiswick may be the UK’s most literary location”?

Have fun and good luck!

Image at the top of the page: Dinner at Haddo House, 1884 by Alfred Edward Emslie