Test Your Literary I.Q.: Can You Link the Novel With Its Second Sentence?


Quiz masters like to give an opening sentence and  have you identify the novel.  But the second sentence may be equally suggestive of its provenance. Can you match the following second sentence to its novel? If you get all ten, you are second to none. Answers are in Roman numerals and  follow a pregnant pause.


1. “Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world.”

2. “There were no servants present, and the gentlemen, with chairs closely approaching, seemed to be discussing some subject with great earnestness.”

3. “However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighborhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.”

4. “The remains of this extensive wood are still to be seen at the noble seats of Wentworth, of Wharncliffe Park, and around Rotherham.”

5. “In the former case, it is well known that the entertainer provides what fare he pleases; and though this should be very indifferent, and utterly disagreeable to the taste of his company, they must not find any fault; nay, on the contrary, good-breeding forces them outwardly to approve and to commend whatever is set before them.”

6. “I dreamed, and behold, I saw a man clothed with rags, standing in a certain place, with his face from his own house, a book in his hand, and a great burden upon his back.”

7. “His face was the expression of his soul.”

8. “So I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip.”

9. “I remember him as if it were yesterday, as he came plodding to the inn door, his sea-chest following behind him in a hand-barrow; a tall, strong, heavy, nut-brown man; his tarry pigtail falling over the shoulders of his soiled blue coat; his hands ragged and scarred, with black, broken nails, and the sabre cut across one cheek, a dirty, livid white.”

10. “He sent me to Emanuel-College in Cambridge, at Fourteen Years old, where I resided three Years, and applied myself close to my studies: But the Charge of maintaining me (although I had a very scanty Allowance) being too great for a narrow Fortune; I was bound Apprentice to Mr. James Bates, an eminent Surgeon in London, with whom I continued four Years; and my Father now and then sending me small Sums of  Money, I laid them out in learning Navigation, and other Parts of Mathematicks, useful to those who intend to travel, as I always believed it would be some time or other my Fortune to do.”

___Pride and Prejudice



___Gulliver’s Travels

___Uncle Tom’s Cabin

___Pilgrim’s Progress

___Moby Dick

___Great Expectations

___Treasure Island

___Tom Jones



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  • I got 4 out of 10. Yikes. I'm an English teacher! But I teach rhetoric and not lit. This was fun.

  • In reply to Kerri K. Morris:

    It was fun putting it together too. Thanks for coming for seconds.

  • I got three out of ten.

    But I always focus on the last sentence of great novels.

    Do I have to stay after?

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    RD, I look forward to your test on last lines.

  • Sorry to be late to class -- but once I found the test, I got 5 of 10. I agree with Kerri, it was fun. (Yes, Serious fun!)

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