Local Writer Robin Knight Wins Prize For Chiswick Book Festival Quiz

And Ant and Dec bring the Chiswick Timeline of Writers total to 400

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The author and former Time magazine correspondent Robin Knight has won the 2019 Christmas Quiz. He scored 37 out of a possible 40 marks and wins a Folio Society edition of Le Grand Meaulnes by Alain-Fournier, donated by Stephen and Sarah Foster of Foster Books. See Answers below and A Quick Guide to the Chiswick Timeline of Writers and Books.

Robin Knight

Robin Knight is listed on the Chiswick Timeline of Writers and Books and spoke about his book ‘Mike Cumberledge SOE’ at the Waterstones Local Authors Party at last year’s Chiswick Book Festival. He gave an interview about the book to chiswickw4.com in 2018 when it was published.

It was a closely fought contest. In second place was Diana Oppe, who scored 36 marks, and in third place was Sara Gronmark with 35.

“Congratulations to them all - it wasn’t easy and we marked very strictly” said Torin Douglas, director of the Chiswick Book Festival. “We wanted exact answers – so question 8, about Alain-Fournier, needed to include the name Sanderson’s, not just ‘a west London fete’. Question 4 about John Osborne needed the fact that George Devine rowed out to his houseboat, not just ‘on his houseboat’. And for question 32, about the two artists who are featured on both Chiswick Timelines, both names were needed to gain a mark.”

crowds at the chiswick book festival outdoors

All three finalists got question 26 wrong, leading the judges to look at it again. “We asked ‘Who gave the director Peter Brook, born in Chiswick, a special theatre award last month?’ “ said Douglas. “We were thinking of Evgeny Lebedev at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards in November 2019. But it turned out that Brook had also won Spain's prestigious arts prize, the Princess of Asturias award, and this was presented to him in October by Princess Leonora. Since we had specifically said ‘a special theatre award last month’ we stuck to our guns!”

One of the incorrect answers inadvertently led to the ITV performers Ant and Dec being added to the Chiswick Timeline of Writers and Books, fortuitously taking the total to over 400!

“One of the few questions which Robin Knight got wrong was No 18, about the autobiography of a Chiswick comedy duo” says Torin Douglas, director of the Chiswick Book Festival. “The correct answer was ‘Eric and Ernie’ but he put down ‘Ooh What A Lovely Pair’. I’m afraid I thought he was being facetious and just guessing, but when I googled it I discovered it was the title of Ant and Dec’s autobiography. They will shortly join Robin as authors on the Chiswick Timeline of Writers and Books.”

In November last year, Douglas announced that the total of authors had reached around 350 and said “I think we’re near the final total.” He now admits he was wrong. “The publicity which that generated brought a new flurry of submissions, including the historian Jessie Childs, Andrew Lloyd Webber (president of ArtsEd), Desmond Lynam, Ralph Miliband, novelists Emma Forrest and Helen Sedgwick, Hollywood scriptwriter Rob Sprackling and many more. Ann Francke, who was awarded the OBE in the New Year’s Honours list and published a book last year, brought us up to 48 on our ‘More names’ page – and now we shall add Ant and Dec too!”

More suggestions for the Chiswick Timeline of Writers and Books are always welcome and should be sent to: admin@chiswickbookfestival.net.

The Quiz was organised by the Chiswick Book Festival in conjunction with The Chiswick Calendar and judges were Torin Douglas and Bridget Osborne of the Calendar.

Chiswick Book Festival Quiz 2019 – The Answers

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

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

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’? PHIL BROWN

4. How did John Osborne receive the contract for his play Look Back in Anger to be produced at the Royal Court Theatre? GEORGE DEVINE ROWED TO HIS HOUSEBOAT WITH IT

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

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

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

8. What event in Chiswick connects Alain-Fournier’s Le Grand Meaulnes and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby? A FETE AT THE SANDERSON SOCIAL CLUB IS SAID TO HAVE INSPIRED A KEY SCENE IN BOTH BOOKS

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

10. Which Nobel Prize winner lived in Blenheim Road? WB YEATS

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

12. Which Booker Prize winner lived in Barrowgate Road? IRIS MURDOCH

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

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

15. Name one of the two Chiswick writers buried in Poets Corner at Westminster Abbey. SIR JOHN DENHAM and REVD HENRY FRANCIS CARY

16. In what year did a Poet Laureate and an exhibition help save the first garden suburb from the threat of redevelopment? 1967

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? ANTHONY BURGESS

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

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? ROSE COTTAGE

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? MOLLY RICH

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

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

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

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

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? ASIA MACKAY

26. Who gave the director Peter Brook, born in Chiswick, a special theatre award last month? EVGENY LEBEDEV (EVENING STANDARD THEATRE AWARDS)

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

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

29. Who called Chiswick House “my earthly paradise”? GEORGIANA, DUCHESS OF DEVONSHIRE

30. Name two people on the Chiswick Timeline of Writers and Books who created the musical Cats. TWO FROM: ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER, GILLIAN LYNNE, WAYNE SLEEP

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

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? WILLIAM HOGARTH and ANTHEA CRAIGMYLE

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

34. In which book does GK Chesterton parody Bedford Park as “Saffron Park”? THE MAN WHO WAS THURSDAY

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

36. Name the trilogy of novels, featuring scenes in Chiswick, by the writer commemorated with a blue plaque in Burlington Gardens. TWENTY THOUSAND STREETS UNDER THE SKY

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

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

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

40. Which Sunday newspaper carried the headline “Put the word out: Chiswick may be the UK’s most literary location”? THE OBSERVER
Photos below: Robin Knight and Ant and Dec: Ooh! What A Lovely Pair

You can see names listed by subject on the Timeline under Non-fiction or in Novels, Plays and Poems.

James O'Brien at the Festival in 2019

Chiswick Timeline of Writers Year by Year.

Other sections include Strand on the Green, where literary residents have been catalogued by the Brentford & Chiswick Local History Society and Chiswick Mall, which is featured on the Panorama of the Thames project, including Walpole House, home to several notable writers.

The 12th Chiswick Book Festival will take place from September 11 to 15 2020.

Writers By Subject

Novels, Plays and Poems

Writers By Year

Non Fiction

Writer's Tales

The Writer's Trail

January 8, 2020

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