(If you’re checking out a Trivialitycheck.com ‘Pop Quiz’ for the first time: Every Wednesday (or most, anyway) I post ten trivia questions, usually on some kind of theme. If you respond with answers or guesses, I’ll tell you your score. Send your answers to host@trivialitycheck.com with the title of this post as the subject line. The full set of answers is posted the following week, along with congratulations to the high scorer(s). No googling!)

Do you still write letters? Or did you ever? I’m guessing it’s a dying art, what with email and all this wonderful new interweb stuff the kids are raving about. If you’ve got a chance, drop me a line in the mail one day. It’d be a real novelty for me. I promise to write back.

The questions below are all about such antiquated forms of communication. If you know any of the answers, you don’t have to send them by post. Save a stamp and send me an email.

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 correspondence 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 correspondence 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 have been 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?

QM Bill

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