On July 6,1942, Anne Frank went into hiding in a warehouse in Amsterdam to escape the Nazis and wrote an extremely moving diary of her days in confinement. This week’s quiz is all about diaries and diarists.

Life in a diary

1 Which Roman lawyer’s diaries and letters are one of the main sources of information on ancient Rome, with his most famous account being the destruction of the city of Pompeii by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius?

2 The diaries of Jonathan Harker form the basis of which famous 19th-century novel?

3 This diarist was a treasure trove of information on life in 16th-century England, with vivid descriptions of the Great Plague and the Great London Fire. The diary was personal enough for the author to write it in shorthand. Name the writer?

4 Which film’s plot rests on the location of a specific item described in the diary of Dr Henry Walton Jones, Sr?

5 “Had we lived, I should have had a tale to tell of the hardihood, endurance, and courage of my companions which would have stirred the heart of every Englishman.” Stirring words in a diary that were recovered after the author’s death close to the South Pole in 1912. Who was the ill-fated author, who became a legend after his accounts were recovered?

6 Mahadevbhaini Dayari is a 19-volume publication of the diaries maintained by Mahadev Desai. On whose life and works are they regarded as an important source of information?

7Dil se niklegi, na markar bhi, watan ki ulfat, meri mitti se bhi khushboo-e-watan aayegi .” Last words of the prison diaries of which Indian, who was hanged in 1931?

8 In which classic Hindi film released in 1972 does the plot rest on a courtesan named Sahibjaan reading the diary of a forest ranger by chance?

9 Konrad Kujau was imprisoned for four years in the mid-’80s for forging the diaries of which 20th-century personality?

10 Which 1953 Hollywood comedy is based on a novel about the diaries of a certain Lorelei Lee and adventures with her “gentleman friends”?


1 Pliny the Younger

2 Dracula. Harker is the lawyer who visits Dracula’s palace

3 Samuel Pepys

4 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade . It described the location of the Holy Grail

5 Robert Falcon Scott, the leader of Britain’s Antarctic expedition

6 MK Gandhi. Desai was Gandhi’s secretary for much of his life

7 Bhagat Singh

8 Pakeezah ; she realises he was the mysterious stranger who left her a note during a train journey

9 Adolf Hitler; he sold the fake diaries to the German magazine, Stern

10 Gentlemen Prefer Blondes


Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster;Twitter: @joybhattacharj