Can You Match These Literary Masters to Their Iconic Works?

By: John Miller
Image: Daniel Maclise via Wiki Commons

About This Quiz

They are the once-in-a-generation talents who put pen to paper in magical and legendary ways. They are the iconic authors of the human race, the journalists of all our foibles and follies, the champions of our ideals. They are the best authors of history. In this timeless quiz, do you think you can match these famous authors to their novels?

He had three initials for his first name and he assembled unforgettable characters in “The Lord of the Rings.” Do you know which man made this work of art? It was, of course, J.R.R. Tolkien, and his novels will long outlive his earthly remains.

“On the Road” was a harrowing tale of young people setting out for the freedom of the American highways. Some days they found nothing but trouble… and on others, they got a sense of what could be. Do you know who wrote it? It was the anguished Jack Kerouac.

In “To Kill a Mockingbird,” we see a racially-charged trial in the Deep South unfolding in incredible and excruciating ways. This epic book was created by none other than Harper Lee, and it was her one big breakthrough.

Turn the pages in this gripping literary quiz now! Let’s find out if you really know our best authors!

Which master created "War and Peace," a book about European strife?

In "War and Peace," Tolstoy narrates the incredible story ramping up to France's invasion of Russia. It's an unbelievably long novel with a lot of history woven in.

Charles Dickens nailed which epic story, which is set in London?

Charles Dickens had a knack for sweeping stories, and "Great Expectations" was truly great. It had a cast of memorable characters trying to get by in 18th-century England.

Which great writer authored "The Great Gatsby"?

"The Great Gatsby" was published by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1925. It's a grand tale of a millionaire who is overcome by his desire for a young woman.

William Shakespeare wrote which work, which is often performed on stages around the world?

Only Shakespeare could've written "Hamlet," a tragic story of power and murder. This story has been remade in countless ways in the past few centuries.

Miguel De Cervantes wrote about a gentle knight in which great book?

Published in the early 1600s, "Don Quixote" is a comedic take on a knight's grandiose dreams of glory. It is almost always listed near the top of the greatest books of all time.

James Joyce authored which amazing novel?

James Joyce's "Ulysses" didn't just enthrall readers with a strong story. It's a modern book that overhauled the way people view the structure of literature as a whole.

Jonathan Swift was being very satirical when he wrote which timeless adventure book?

"Gulliver's Travels" was published in the 1720s as pure satire, meant to ruffle the feathers of the world rather than to entertain. And even back then, it was one of the most widely-read books in the world.

Mark Twain was the master who made which funny and touching novel?

You can just call him "Huck," as in "Huckleberry Finn," a work of fiction by Mark Twain. It follows the story of Huck trying to help a slave boy named Jim to freedom.

"Pride and Prejudice" was a triumphant work of art by which writer?

In the early 19th century, Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" captivated readers across the world. It was a funny take on a young woman's maturation in a time of British formality.

Author Ralph Ellison composed which masterful social commentary?

Published in 1952, "Invisible Man" is a powerful look at race in America. Ellison's cutting descriptions show just how difficult it is to be black in a country with a history of slavery.

Charlotte Bronte originally wrote which novel under the pen name "Currer Bell"?

The 1847 masterpiece that is "Jane Eyre" was written by Charlotte Bronte, although she originally used a pen name. The story is all about a young woman's psychological and emotional development.

George Orwell drew up an ominous futuristic plot in which creepy novel?

George Orwell had no idea that his "Nineteen Eighty-Four" would essentially become a blueprint for the modern New World Order. Far too many of his seemingly crazy ideas have blossomed into reality.

Homer concocted the epic storyline for which centuries-old book?

It's not a novel, it's a long Greek poem called "Odyssey," written all the way back in the 8th century BC. It follows major power struggles in politics, and also the decisions that people must make in terms of morality.

Herman Melville opened which book with this famous line: "Call me Ishmael"?

Few American writers make all-time greatest lists… but Herman Melville's "Moby Dick" ensured his legacy. This 1851 book follows a mad captain who sets aside all reason in his quest to kill a gigantic whale.

Which novel cemented Virginia Woolf as one of the best British authors of the 20th century?

Published just a few years after the end of the Great War, "Mrs. Dalloway" portrays a woman making her way through a day in England in the inter-war period. This book alone made Woolf a highly-respected author.

Lewis Carroll wrote which fantastic tale featuring many strange creatures?

It's supposedly a children's book… but no kid on the planet really gets "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland." It's the kind of book that weaves its way into your subconscious, just as Lewis Carroll intended.

Leo Tolstoy created which of the following masterpieces?

At around 800 pages and eight parts, "Anna Karenina" isn't a book - it's a literary experience. And it took a master like Tolstoy to pull off this tale of extramarital love.

Mary Shelley gained eternal fame as a horror writer for which scary novel?

Mary Shelley started writing "Frankenstein" when she was just 18 years old. Little did she know, her tale of a mad scientist piecing together a monster would become a cultural touchstone for much of the Western world.

E.B. White wrote which book about a spider attempting to save a pig?

When a pig is about to be slaughtered by a farmer, his friend Charlotte, a spider, begins weaving mysterious webs in the barn. The farmer is so impressed that he opts to keep his "magical" pig.

Jane Austen hit a home run with which fascinating tale of matchmaking gone wrong?

In "Emma," Jane Austen recounts the life of a young English woman who believes she knows best. Later, she comes to realize that her youth and inexperience have led her down the wrong paths.

In "The Call of the Wild," a dog's master dies … so he joins a wolf pack. Who wrote it?

Published in the early 20th century, "The Call of the Wild" is a short but powerful book set in the midst of a Canadian gold rush. Not only does a sled-dog-gone-feral survive in the wild, he becomes a strong member of a wolf pack.

"Wuthering Heights" is a Gothic-tinged novel with graphic scenes of cruelty, and it was written by which one-hit wonder?

We tend to think of Victorian England as a refined place. But in "Wuthering Heights," Emily Bronte is sure to tell us that beneath the ornate structures of formality and etiquette, there were all sorts of harsh realities.

"The Count of Monte Cristo" is a thrilling tale of revenge written by which iconic author?

Alexandre Dumas had a flair for the dramatic, and it was evident in "The Count of Monte Cristo," an adventure tale that takes place in the days of Napoleon. It shows the duality of human nature… and the consequences of our most extreme actions.

"The Shining" is a terrifying novel set at a lonely mountain hotel. Who wrote it?

Few writers have managed to so consistently tapped into the underlying forces that cause our deepest fears. And in "The Shining," Stephen King reminds us that twins are devil spawn.

William Faulkner wrote which black comedy?

William Faulkner reportedly wrote "As I Lay Dying" in just a few weeks and never edited so much one word. It uses a stream-of-consciousness style to tell the tale of a woman who simply wants to be buried in her hometown.

Robert Louis Stevenson wrote which tale, which shows the extremes of human nature?

"The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" was published in the 19th century, but its aptly portrays the weird twists of human nature. And it shows just how evil some of us can become.

"David Copperfield" is essentially an autobiography written by which literary titan?

Charles Dickens wrote incredibly detailed descriptions of his characters in "Great Expectations." In "David Copperfield" he turns inward, offering a (thinly veiled) version of himself to the world.

"The Pursuit of Love" is a tragic (yet also funny) interwar novel written by which famous author?

Nancy Mitford wrote "The Pursuit of Love" in the inter-war era, weaving complicated characters into one strange family situation after another. Later, her famous novel, "The Blessing," mentions portions of "The Pursuit of Love" in its pages.

"The Trial" is all about vengeance and justice. Who wrote it?

"The Trial" wasn't published until after his death, but it added greatly to Franz Kafka's legacy. It's an eerie and disturbing story about a man dragged into a trial by mysterious forces.

"The Picture of Dorian Gray" is an anguished perspective on homosexuality, and it was written by which author?

Published in 1890, "The Picture of Dorian Gray" was met with uproar by critics, who called it indecent and immoral. But Oscar Wilde stuck to his guns, defending his (now acclaimed) book as an artistic exploration.

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