Lynn Shepherd

Young Romantics quiz

Young Romantics quiz
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Byron may have been mad, bad and dangerous to know, but how’s your knowledge of the rest of the Young Romantics? Are you a connoisseur of Keats, or a specialist on Shelley? Take this light-hearted quiz to find out how much you really know about this dazzling generation of English poets. There are four possible answers to the questions below, and one of them relates to Byron, Keats or Shelley. There’s a point for every correct answer, and some bonus points to be won as well, if you can spot a few Romantic red herrings I’ve hidden in here too…

Answers should be emailed to dblackburn @ The winner will receive a signed first edition of Lynn Shepherd’s new book A Treacherous Likeness. Answers will be published next Wednesday.

1 Who as a child

a) Sent a cat up in a kite in the midst of a storm

b) Lost his father at the age of eight when he died falling from his horse

c) Was bullied by his eight older brothers

d) Played in the very first Eton versus Harrow cricket match at Lord’s

2 Who

a) Left a Cambridge college to enlist in the army under the name ‘Silas Comberbache’

b) Wrote part of his first major work in an Oxford college

c) Kept a bear in a Cambridge college

d) Has a memorial in an Oxford college

3 Who had

a) A wife who was the daughter of a tavern-owner

b) A wife whose father went bankrupt

c) A wife who was the daughter of a colliery owner

d) No wife at all

4 Who

a) Swam the Hellespont at the age of 22

b) Was accused of pickpocketing as a child when acting out the swimming of the Hellespont

c) Said ‘I am in that temper that if I were under water I would scarcely kick to come to the top.’

d) Could not swim

5 Who has been portrayed on screen by

a) Hugh Grant

b) Ben Whishaw

c) Julian Sands

d) Jonny Lee Miller

6 Who had

a) No children

b) Two children

c) Four children

d) Six children

7 The poem ‘Julian and Maddalo’ was inspired by the relationship between

a) Keats and Shelley

b) Byron and Keats

c) Shelley and Byron

8 Who left England for the last time in

a) 1814

b) 1816

c) 1818

d) 1820

9 Who said

a) ‘I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart’s affections and the truth of the imagination.’

b) ‘If I don’t write to empty my mind, I go mad.’

c) ‘A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds’

d) ‘Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity.’

10 Who wrote a poem to

a) A skylark

b) A nightingale

c) A green linnet

d) A newfoundland dog

11 Who was the author of

a) The Bride of Abydos

b) The Complaint of Ninathoma

c) The Witch of Atlas

d) The Eve of St Agnes

12 Who died of

a) Syphilis

b) Fever

c) Drowning

d) Consumption

13 Who provoked the following contemporary reviews

a) ‘He is unhappily a disciple of the new school of what has been somewhere called Cockney poetry, which may be defined to consist of the most incongruous ideas in the most uncouth language.’

b) ‘His effusions are spread over a dead flat, and can no more get above or below the level, than if they were so much stagnant water.’

c) ‘This will never do! It bears no doubt the stamp of the author’s heart and fancy: But unfortunately not half so visibly as that of his peculiar system.’

d) ‘We have spoken of [his] genius and it is doubtless of a high order; but when we look at the purposes to which it is directed, and contemplate the infernal character of all its efforts, our souls revolt with tenfold horror…’

14 Who died at the age of

a) 25

b) 27

c) 29

d) 36

15 Whose memorial stone says

a) ‘Here lies one whose name was writ in water’

b)  ‘But there is that within me which shall tire Torture and Time, and breathe when I expire’

c) ‘Nothing of him that doth fade, but doth suffer a sea change, into something rich and strange’

d) ‘Stop, Christian passer-by! Stop, Child of God, And read with gentle breast, Beneath this sod A poet lies’

Lynn Shepherd’s novel A Treacherous Likeness is inspired by the lives of the Shelleys, and is published by Corsair on February 7th. Her website is, and her Twitter ID is @Lynn_Shepherd.