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May 1, 2014

Thursday Quiz: Edgar

This week is traditionally one of the giddiest in the world of mystery fiction: Tonight is the “Edgars” banquet, when the Mystery Writers of America presents its annual awards for the year’s best books in the genre. And tomorrow is the kickoff for the Malice Domestic convention, held every year in Bethesda, MD, and dedicated to celebrating the “cozy” side of mysteries; at the banquet that traditionally closes the Malice festivities the “Agatha” awards are handed out for the year’s best cozy mysteries, as determined by the fans and readers who attend the conference.

With all that in mind, seems like a couple of quizzes – call’em Edgar and Agatha – are called for. How well do you know the Giants of the Genre?

    1. Poe had what might be called an obsession with The Dreadful, but he came by it honestly. Before his fourth birthday he

      A. had nearly died in an influenza epidemic that killed his sister

      B. had watched his older brother drown

      C. had lost both of his parents

    2. Young Edgar had plenty in common with today’s teens, including celebrity crushes. One of his earliest idols was

      A. Lord Byron

      B. Christopher Marlow

      C. Alistair Crowley

    3. Though he wanted to sit around writing poetry and communing with the dark gods, Edgar was instead shipped off to university. He (briefly) attended

      A. Williams College

      B. The University of Virginia

      C. Yale

    4. While still a freshman, Edgar’s heart was broken when his fiancée had kicked him to the curb. Her name was

      A. Elmira

      B. Annabelle

      C. Georgina

    5. In a second stab at higher education, Edgar attended West Point, but was thrown out after just eight months. Broke and miserable, Edgar went to live in

      A. Baltimore, MD

      B. Richmond, VA

      C. Charleston, SC

    6. At the age of 27, Edgar married. Though the marriage was reportedly a success, it was initially something of a scandal because the bride

      A. Was half-black

      B. Was not quite 14 years old

      C. Had lost one of her legs in a childhood riding accident

    7. “The Raven,” published in 1845, was Poe’s most famous poem, and it made his career (though not his fortune). It remains well known today. Only one of the following statements about the poem is true:

      A. The bird spends the entire time perched on a bust of Homer

      B. The narrator laments the chamber’s “grim décor”

      C. Critics have long speculated that the narrator’s “curious volumes of forgotten lore” are books about the occult

    8. Despite a life marked by frustration and unhappiness, Poe did get a few breaks before his early death. They included

      A. The longed-for ownership of his own literary journal

      B. A letter from his dead wife forgiving him for his dalliance with a local heiress

      C. A romantic reunion with his long-gone former fiancée from Question 4

Last week’s quiz, now with an answer!



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