POP QUIZ: TAKE A LETTER, MARIA (answers)
Well, poop. I screwed up and posted the answers at the same time as the questions. Kinda makes it less challenging, right? Ah well…
I’ve updated the original post now, so if you’re stumbling across this at some later date, here are the questions & answers:
1) The “From Hell” letter, received by George Lusk, and the “Dear Boss” letter received by the Central News Agency, are both connected to what notorious events?
2) What was unusual about letters received by Democratic Senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy in late 2001?
3) Which two consecutive English monarchs shared a correspondance of some 3,000 letters, while one sat the throne and the other was the heir, from 1585 until 1603? (name both for the point)
4) Which U.S. President wrote a series of vaguely pornographic letters to his secret mistress Carrie Phillips, which included the fascinating revelation that he called his penis ‘Jerry’?
5) American journalist Lorena Hickok had a daily correspondance with which First Lady, often leading to speculation that they were secretly lovers?
6) ‘Operation Mincemeat’, in which false letters describing Allied strategies were planted on a corpse and left for the Germans to find, was partly conceived by which British agent, later to become known for writing spy fiction?
7) Perhaps the two greatest horror novels in history, Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ and Bram Stokers ‘Dracula’ are both written in the form of a series of letters exchanged between characters in the story. What is the term for this type of writing?
8) Antonie Brentano, daughter of an Austrian diplomat, and Josephine, Countess von Brunsvik, are the two women that scholars think are most likely to be the intended recipient of a love letter addressed to “The Immortal Beloved”, written but left unsent by whom?
9) Who wrote a letter to President Richard Nixon in December of 1970, offering to help the federal government with “The drug culture, the hippie elements, the SDS, Black Panthers, etc”?
10) Who wrote a letter to three bishops, three reverends and a rabbi on April 1, 1963, from a cell in the Birmingham City Jail?
1) THE JACK THE RIPPER KILLINGS
2) THEY CONTAINED ANTHRAX
3) ELIZABETH I and JAMES I (VI of Scotland)
4) WARREN G. HARDING
5) ELEANOR ROOSEVELT
6) IAN FLEMING
7) EPISTOLARY (an epistolary novel)
8) LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
9) ELVIS PRESLEY
10) MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.
The Anthrax letters of 2001 are now believed to have been the work of Bruce Edwards Ivins, a biodefense scientist in the employ of the US government. Ivins committed suicide before he could be charged.
Once you know what President Harding was referring to when he said “Jerry”, it seems kinda creepy when you read his letters and find sections like “Jerry sends Christmas greetings! He would come too, if I might: would he be welcomed cordially?”
The Operation Mincemeat story is gruesome and fascinating. Fleming claimed that he’d basically lifted the whole idea from an old detective novel he’d read, but he never specified which one. The body of a homeless man named Glyndwr Michael was outfitted as Major William Martin of the Royal Marines, equipped with appropriate attire, a series of personal items and the misleading letters, and set adrift near Spain. The fisherman who found him gave him to the Spanish military authorities who shared the information with the Nazis before returning the body to the Brits. The Nazis fell for it, and the Sicilian Operation was a success. It was the beginning of the end of WWII.