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Question of The Week - European History

Go to This Week's Question

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Each week I will ask a question relating to either American history or politics. You should e-mail me the answer to get extra credit. Please put EURO QOW in your email subject line. Try your luck at guessing or researching the answers to this week's question. Answers will be posted after I have posted the answer at school on the following Monday. No answers will be accepted after 6:00 AM on that Monday morning. Please put EURO QOW in the heading of your email and be sure to tell me what period you are in.

Go to This Week's Question - By Monday morning, this link will take you to the new question for next week, so be sure you answer the question for the correct week. If your answer comes in after I've already posted the answer, you will not get credit. I will always let you know if you've gotten the answer right so if you don't hear back from me within 24 hours, I probably didn't receive your email. If you're wrong, you can try again and again until you're successful.

Week of August 11 - 21

Italian humanists seem to have trouble resting in their graves.  Answer these questions about three humanists whose bodies have been recently exhumed.

A. Which early humanist and poet’s body was exhumed in 2003 to measure his height, only to find that the grave had the wrong skull? Francesco Petrarch

B. As a part of CSI-type documentary on Italian TV, which philosopher’s body was exhumed to discover that he had died due to arsenic poisoning? Giovanni Pico della Mirandola

C. Another Renaissance poet’s body was also exhumed at the same time as the man in question ‘B’ and the results show that he had also died from arsenic poisoning.  Name that poet. Poliziano

Week of August 21 - 28

Answer these questions about three figures of the Age of Reformation.

A. Name the pope, one of the most powerful in papal history, who led the Church’s efforts against the Protestant Reformation.  He also issued a papal bull against enslaving the native peoples of the Americas.  Despite his interest in church reform, he also infamously practiced nepotism when he appointed two of his grandsons as cardinals at the ages of fourteen and sixteen years old.  In fact, he was originally appointed a cardinal by the Borgia pope, Alexander VI, because his sister was Pope Alexander’s mistress. Pope Paul III

B. What Reformation figure who took a very controversial position rejecting the trinity was also a scholar of math and the sciences being the first European to describe pulmonary circulation?  This Spanish polymath is regarded as one of the very first Unitarians for his arguments against belief in the Trinity. He came to a tragic end when John Calvin had him burned at the stake, but also became a hero for the freedom of religious conscience.  Michael Servetus

C. Name this 16th century former Catholic priest from a province in the Netherlands who became the leading Anabaptist.  His followers were notable for their commitment to pacifism.  There are an estimated 1.7 million followers of his teachings today in countries all over the world.  Some of his earliest followers settled in colonial Pennsylvania.  As such they were known as Plain people and included groups such as the Amish. You may be familiar with the fair-trade stores, Ten Thousand Villages, established by contemporary followers of this man’s teachings.
Menno SimonsWeek of August 28 - September 4

The Index of Prohibited Books, created in 1558 and promulgated at the Council of Trent, included some works and writers whose presence there might not really surprise us such as Martin Luther and Huldrych Zwingli.  Galileo’s compete works were put on the Index, but in 1718, the ban was lifted except for his Dialogue Concerning the Two chief World Systems concerning Copernican astronomy.  Surprisingly, the works of Charles Darwin and Karl Marx were never placed on the Index.  In 1966, the Church abolished the Index and placed the decision on the individual whether to read works that could threaten their faith and morality.

Identify these writers whose works were place on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum.

A. One work by this famed writer was placed on the list, his early 14th century book, De Monarchia, which argued that both the Pope and Holy Roman Emperor were human and derived their authority from God and neither had the power to rule over the other’s domain.  You can see why the Church wouldn’t approve of that. Dante Alighieri

B.  This Italian adventurers whose Mémoires were placed on the list became so famous for his amorous adventures that his name has entered the language to mean a promiscuous philanderer or, as the Urban Dictionary put it, “A smooth-talking charmer who has mastered the art of finding, meeting, attracting and seducing beautiful women into the bedroom. One he accomplishes his goal, he leaves the woman in fear of having a relationship and proceeds to find his next conquest.” Giacoma Casanova

C. Both this father and his illegitimate son who shared the same name were placed on the list.  The father was placed on the list in 1863 for all his love stories, but interestingly didn’t include one of his most famous books about a man who seeks to revenge himself on his enemies who had had him falsely imprisoned 25 years earlier. The son was also placed on the list a century later for his love stories, the most famous one, The Lady of the Camellias, was the story of beautiful courtesan dying of tuberculosis and which became the basis for Verdi’s opera, La Traviata. Alexandre Dumas, père and fils

Week of September 4 - 11

Answer these questions about the mistresses of French kings.

1. Name this mistress of Henry II to whom he gave the beautiful to which she added the famed bridge across the Loire.  The castle was recognized as one of the most beautiful in France so the king’s widow, Catherine de’ Medici forced the mistress to give it to her after the king’s death. Diane de Poitiers

2. Another king later purchased the château for his favorite mistress, Gabrielle d'Estrées.  The king
was well known for his many affairs, but he so loved this mistress that he wanted to marry her after his marriage to Marguerite de Valois was annulled.  This would have caused a great scandal and many feared what would have happened if he’d tried to name his sons by her as heirs.  Sadly for him, but perhaps fortunately for peace in France, she died from an eclampsia in her pregnancy.  Name this king whose romantic hopes were so sadly dashed. Henry IV

3. Louis XIV had many mistresses.  Name this mistress by whom he had seven children.  Her reign as Maîtresse-en-titre, or chief mistress of the king, came to an end when she was implicated in the infamous “Affair of the Poisons” and it became known that she had bought aphrodisiacs to keep the king’s affections. Madame de Montespan

4. Perhaps the most famous of French royal mistresses is this mistress of Louis XV.  She became very influential in the court.  She helped negotiate the so-called “Diplomatic Revolution” which involved France forming an alliance with its former enemy, Austria.  That led to the marriage of the heir to the throne with Marie Antoinette of Austria as well as France’s involvement in the Seven Years War on Austria’s side.  Name this famed and powerful mistress who sponsored the arts, Enlightenment philosophes and economists. Madame de Pompadour

Week of September 11 - 18

Answer these questions about plots against Tudor rulers

1. When Henry VII took the throne in 1485, his rather uncertain claim to the throne was challenged a couple of times by pretenders to the throne who claimed to be one of the “Princes in the Tower,” the sons of Edward IV who had disappeared mysteriously during the reign of Richard III.  The largest rebellion was in 1497 centering on this young man who claimed to be Richard, Duke of York.  He obtained the support of Margaret of Burgundy, the young princes’ aunt, and the support of James IV of Scotland.  Name this young man who eventually captured and hanged. Perkin Warbeck

2. After Edward VI died, there was a plot to put this young cousin of the king on the throne in place of his sisters Mary and Elizabeth.  Name this young woman who served as queen for nine days before she was overthrown by Mary and sentenced to death. Lady Jane Grey

3.  There were several plots to assassinate Elizabeth and replace her with Mary, Queen of Scots.  Name this 1586 plot, named after the young English Catholic nobleman who was the chief conspirator, and that was the final after several of these other plots.  The evidence of Mary’s perfidy was obtained using a double agent and a famous cipher code that was used as evidence to try Mary and sentence her to death. The Babington Plot

Week of September 18 - 25

Answer these questions about famous intellectuals of the 17th century.

A. Which prominent thinker was born prematurely supposedly when his mother heard of the coming invasion of the Spanish Armada and later wrote that his “mother gave birth to twins: myself and fear”? Thomas Hobbes

B. One of the most famous poets in English literature wrote his most famous work as an expression of his disappointment in the failure of the English Revolution in the wake of the Restoration of Charles II.  He also wrote a pamphlet advocating for divorce on the basis of incompatibility between spouses.  Apparently, he was motivated to his position on divorce by his wife’s desertion of him soon after their marriage.     One of his most important works was an essay arguing for freedom of speech and press that has been cited as a foundation for our own First Amendment freedoms. John Milton

C. Name this famed English metaphysical poet and friend of the poet in question #2 who reportedly convinced Charles II not to execute that poet in #2.  This poet served as a tutor to the daughter of Lord General Thomas Fairfax who had led the New Model Army.  He wrote poems to Fairfax and an ode about Cromwell’s return from Ireland although his lyric poetry is more famous.  As a Member of Parliament during the Restoration reign of Charles II, he wrote several satirical poems about Charles II’s reign and pamphlet, An Account of the Growth of Popery and Arbitrary Government in England, charging that there was a plot to introduce absolutist tyranny, French slavery, and Popish idolatry into England. Andrew Marvell

D) Name this prominent writer thought to have written the first novel in English who also wrote pamphlets and poems defending William III in his wars against the French.  He was a Presbyterian dissenter who was sentenced to the pillory for his writings in defense of dissenters.  He wrote articles and pamphlets supporting the 1707 Treaty of Union between England and Scotland and served as a spy in Scotland to undermine those who opposed the Union.   Daniel Defoe

Week of September 25 - October 2

From now on, you will not receive a second chance if you get the answer of any part of the question wrong. So double-check your answers and make sure you "Answer the Question!"

Answer these questions based on crime and Dutch art.

In 1945, in one of the most amazing art scams of the century, a Dutch painter was arrested for having sold a painting by one of the great painters of the Dutch Golden Age to Hermann Goering, the Nazi commander of the Luftwaffe or air force.  In order to defend himself from the charges of treason and collaborating with the enemy, the painter confessed that he had been forging many of the great artists of the Golden Age.  Being convicted of forgery and fraud was better than being convicted of treason and collaboration with the Nazis.  He had to paint in front of reporters and court witnesses to demonstrate how he forged his paintings.  Hans Van

1. What was the name of this famous forger? Some experts had been so fooled by his forgeries that one prominent critic considered one of his paintings to be a masterpiece by the artist whose style he was emulating.  Hans Van Meergeren

2. What great artist had he imitated so well that he was able to sell a painting purportedly by this artist to Hermann Goering for what would be to $7 million in today’s money?  Johannes Vermeer

3. In the largest theft of private property in history, 13 works of art were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston including two famous works by Dutch Golden Age artists.  Sadly, these works have never been recovered.  One was the only seascape by Rembrandt.  Name that work. "The Storm on the Sea of Galilee"

4. Another missing painting was by the artist in #2  Name that painting thought to be worth more than $200 million. "The Concert"

Week of October 2 - 9

From now on, you will not receive a second chance if you get the answer of any part of the question wrong. So double-check your answers and make sure you "Answer the Question!"

Answer these questions about three famous French writers.

1. Which French writer and philosopher had to flee France because he had been imprisoned in the Bastille under a letter de cachet, when he offended the powerful Rohan family after the nobleman had made fun of the writer’s name?  You just don’t want to get on the wrong side of those Rohans.  This same writer had become rich when he and a group of friends made a killing in a lottery that the City of Paris held to repay municipal bonds.  They realized that the prize was greater than the total cost of the tickets and they bought up all the tickets.  The group of friends won 7.5 million francs – which today would be worth more than $41 million. Voltaire

2. Which French writer and philosopher died in Sweden, but the French arranged for his body to be disinterred and transferred to Paris.  Before the body was moved, under great secrecy and guard, the French ambassador took the writer’s right index finger as a relic.  The finger has been missing ever since. Descartes

3. Which Enlightenment writer, despite his own writings on child-rearing, forced his mistress to give up their five children to a foundling home where, most likely, they all died?    Rousseau

Week of October 9 - 16

From now on, you will not receive a second chance if you get the answer of any part of the question wrong. So double-check your answers and make sure you "Answer the Question!"

This question concerns two central banks.

1. The man who established the Bank of England shares a name with a teacher at Raleigh Charter.  Historians credit this act plus the establishment of the national debt as the basis for the growth of England’s economy during the 18th century.  He also helped to negotiate the Acts of Union to join the kingdoms of England and Scotland together into a single kingdom named “Great Britain.”  And reportedly, he had a love affair with the niece of Sir Isaac Newton.  Name this man who was also the first First Lord of the Treasury. Charles Montagu

2. The man who created the Banque Générale, the first attempt at a French central bank was, ironically enough, not a Frenchman, but a Scot.  This early economist who rose to become the Controller General of Finances for France and instituted some needed reforms, lost his job for his role in a bubble investment company that helped to devastate the French economy when the bubble burst in 1720.   He ended up having to flee France disguised. John Law and the Mississippi Bubble

Week of October 16 - 23

From now on, you will not receive a second chance if you get the answer of any part of the question wrong. So double-check your answers and make sure you "Answer the Question!"

Answer these questions about British military history in the 18th century.

1. There is only one British admiral who was court-martialed and executed for failure to “do his utmost.” This happened as result of a battle during the Seven Years War.  Voltaire used this officer’s execution for a scene in Candide when he wrote that “in this country, it is wise to kill an admiral from time to time to encourage the others.”  It may well have worked as Voltaire described, since naval historians credit this admiral’s execution with instilling British officers with a more aggressive spirit.  Name this unfortunate admiral and the Mediterranean island he abandoned to the French.

Admiral John Byng and the Battle of Minorca

2) Name this last full-scale battle to take place on British soil.  Unfortunately, it was a battle that resulted in casualties of up to 2000 rebels including many Scots.  The harsh treatment of the survivors earned the British commander the nickname, “Butcher.”  Laws following this victory outlawed the wearing of tartan and limited the power of clan chiefs.


3) Who was leading the invasion and rebellion that was put down in the battle in question #2?

Charles Edward Stuart or Bonnie Prince Charlie or The Young Pretender.

4) Who was the last British monarch to lead troops in battle? 

George II

Week of October 23 - 30

From now on, you will not receive a second chance if you get the answer of any part of the question wrong. So double-check your answers and make sure you "Answer the Question!"

Answer these questions related to European folk and fairy tales.

1. Name this 17th century French author who wrote some of the best known fairy tales such as Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Puss in Boots as well as the Tales of Mother Goose.  During the time of Louis XIV, there was a cultural debate called the “Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns,” over whether culture should be modeled after the classical authors or whether modern authors of their period were more enlightened than the ancients. Charles Perrault

2. Name this man who is best known today as the co-author of a collection of folk tales.  He was known at the time for so much more.  He served as part of the Hessian legation at the Congress of Vienna where he had the opportunity to talk to other figures involved in gathering their various nations’ folktales.  During his lifetime, he was well respected as a professor of historical linguistics and he proposed an important law of historical linguistics concerning how consonants sounds shifted from Proto-Indo-European to German and other languages that developed from Indo-European.  For example, his law explains why Latin has “pater” while English has “father” and German has “Vater.” Jacob Grimm

3. Russian fairy tales are not as well-known in the west although there is a rich tradition of such folk tales.  Name this character who is one of the most famous characters in Russian folklore.  This old woman can be either helpful or villainous as she flies around in her pestle.  Heroes of Russian folktales often have to search out her forest hut that stands on chicken legs and guarded by human skulls to seek her help. Baba Yaga

Week of October 30 - November 6

From now on, you will not receive a second chance if you get the answer of any part of the question wrong. So double-check your answers and make sure you "Answer the Question!"

Catherine the Great was, according to all reports, a woman of voracious sexual appetites.  Answer these questions about her lovers.

1) Name this lover who, along with his brothers, helped lead the conspiracy that overthrew her husband, Peter III, and installed her as Tsarina.  It is believed that his brother then murdered the Tsar.  She bore him two children. Grigory Orlov

2)  Name this Polish nobleman who was Catherine’s lover when he was a young man.   She then supported him to become King of Poland because she thought he would just be her puppet.  Instead he tried to reform the country to limit the liberum veto.  After Polish nobles protested his reform and revolted, Catherine took advantage of the chaos in Poland to organize the first Partition of Poland.

.Stanisław August Poniatowski

3) Name this man who was rumored to have actually been married to Catherine in a morganatic marriage.  Historians think that, at some point, they married and she referred to him in her correspondence as her husband.  He was a general and statesman.  It was through his diplomacy that Russia annexed the Crimea.  After their love affair ended, they remained friends with him helping to choose her future lovers.  A famous battleship that played a role in the Revolution of 1905 was named after him. Grigory Potemkin

Week of November 6 - 13

From now on, you will not receive a second chance if you get the answer of any part of the question wrong. So double-check your answers and make sure you "Answer the Question!"

Answer these questions about literature leading to the French Revolution.

1) About which famous play, did Louis XVI say, “For this play not to be a danger, the Bastille would have to be torn down first.”  The play, much more so than the more famous opera based on the work, had speeches that were clearly seen as an assault on aristocratic privilege. The Marriage of Figaro

2) Name the playwright of that piece who had earlier directed covert aid from France and Spain to the Americans during our Revolution. Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais   

3) Name this novel written in 1782 in which two decadent and corrupt aristocrats seduce innocents for their own amusement.  It was regarded as an indicator of how corrupt the ancient régime had become.  It has been the basis for several movies. 

Les Liaisons Dangereuses

Week of November 13 - 20

From now on, you will not receive a second chance if you get the answer of any part of the question wrong. So double-check your answers and make sure you "Answer the Question!"

Name these somewhat lesser known men who played roles in the French Revolution

A) Name this man who was a cousin of Louis XVI, but who supported the liberal goals of the Revolution.  He even changed his name to adopt one of the words from the revolutionary slogan as his surname.  As a delegate to the National Convention he voted in favor of Louis XVI’s death sentence.  In spite of  being a Bourbon royal prince, he changed his last name to Égalité.  However, despite his support for the Revolution, he was executed during the terror.  In a final twist of his fate, his son would reign as the final king of France.

Louis Philippe, Duc d'Orléans

B. Name this agitator who criticized the government of the Directory from a socialist point of view calling for sharing property equally among the people in what came to be called the “Conspiracy of Equals.”  He adopted a new first name to evoke Roman tribunes and is sometimes regarded as “The First Revolutionary Communist.”.  He was accused of trying to provoke an armed rising of the people against the government in order to establish a revolutionary dictatorship and was arrested and executed.

Gracchus Babeuf

C. Name this man who got his start leading the dechristianization efforts of the Revolution, mandating that cemeteries should all be inscribed with the statement “Death is an internal sleep.”  With his praise of what he called “salutary terror, he led the terrible reprisals against counterrevolutionaries, earning the nickname, “The Executioner of Lyons.”  He conspired to overthrow Robespierre and survived the Directory government to rise to be minister of police, a position he held through much of Napoleon’s rule.  This political opportunist was regarded as one of the most powerful men of France and was involved in many conspiracies.  Ironically, this man who had voted for Louis XVI’s execution even served as Louis XVIII’s minister of peace for a time after the defeat of Napoleon. 

Joseph Fouché

Week of November 20 - 27

Answer these questions about the complicated relationships among some prominent writers of the Romantic era.

Which writer of the Romantic period eloped with a 16-year old schoolgirl, then abandoned his wife and their child to go off with another 16-year old who was the daughter of two prominent radicals of the era?  He had a friend who had made advances to his wife and been rebuffed and then joined the writer and his new girl-friend with whom the writer encouraged him to have an affair since he believed in free love.  She declined because she was pregnant.  She was also a writer and they married after his first wife drowned in suspicious circumstances. 

Joining this convoluted romantic group was another writer who had an affair with the second woman’s stepsister and she bore him a daughter. These writers spent one vacation together in what was known as the Year Without a Summer, during which they all wrote ghost stories.  One other writer there, John William Polidori wrote a story which became the first story in what is now quite a popular genre.

1) the first writer Percy Bysshe Shelley

2)  the woman who became his second wife  Mary Godwin Shelley

3) the writer who had an affair with the second wife’s stepsister Lord George Gordon Byron

4) the genre of stories that Polidori initiated with his tale. Vampire stories

You got all that?  These complicated relationships were the subject of a 1988 film.

Week of November 27 - December 4

This will be the last set of QOW’s for the semester.  Check back over break for next semester’s first question.

Answer these questions about important female writers in Victorian England with whom you may not be familiar.

1. Name this guide, one of the most well-read books of this 19th century, first published in 1861, on how to run a Victorian household that every self-respecting middle-class wife would be sure to own.  The guide contained recipes and advice on how to manage servants as well as health advice. 

Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management

2. Name this British novelist, encouraged by Charles Dickens, who wrote industrial novels criticizing conditions in Manchester where she’d settled with her husband who was a minister there.  Her stories shocked readers and helped awaken the public to working conditions and life in She also wrote a biography of her friend, Charlotte Brontë. 

Elizabeth Gaskell

3. Name this famed novelist who wrote some of the best observations of politics of the era.  In her most famous novel, she described the namesake town in the years leading up to the Great Reform Act of 1832.  Another one of her novels featured the title character whom she named “the Radical” also in the period of the Great Reform Act of 1832 and the local election for Parliament in a small English town.  Another one of her novels is remarkable for its sympathetic depiction of Jewish characters which was rather remarkable for that time.

Elizabeth Gaskell

Week of January 1 - 8

With the engagement of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle, there are several firsts for someone in direct line to the throne.  She will be the first American, divorced actress of mixed race to marry into the royal family.  Answer these questions that Markle’s background made me think of.

1. A spokesman for has traced Meghan Markle’s family tree and discovered that, if you go back far enough, she is related to both William Shakespeare and an English prime minister.  Name that prime minister. Winston Churchill

2. The last time a member of the royal family married an American divorcée, he had to abdicate his throne to be with the woman he loved.  Name that king and the woman for whom he gave up the crown. Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson

3. There was one queen of England whom one historian asserts had African ancestors based on a portrait and caricatures of her.  One historian thinks that this queen was descended from a Portuguese king, Alfonso III, and a black Moor who was his concubine.  While there is no proof, people still enjoy speculating about this queen’s ethnic heritage.  Name this queen for whom important cities in North Carolina and Virginia are named. Queen Charlotte

4. Many members of the royal family have had affairs with actresses.  We talked earlier about Charles II and Nell Gwynn.  Another actress who had a 20-year relationship with a future king when he was a prince was the actress Dorothea Jordan.  They were together for a long time and had 10 illegitimate children.  She had many notable descendants including the former prime minister of England, David Cameron.  Name that king who had that long affair with Mrs. Jordan. William IV

Week of January 8 - 15

Answer these questions on the connection between the arts and the revolutions of 1848.

1. Name this lesser-known French artist who painted a stark scene of the barricades of the dead protesters after the June Days.  He wanted to exhibit under the title “June,” but realized it was too controversial so he exhibited it as Souvenir [or Remembrance] of the Civil War.  It is also known as The Barricade, Rue de la Mortellerie.  This masterpiece is often contrasted to the idealistic romanticism glorifying revolution in Delacroix’s “Liberty Leading the People.”

Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier

2. What famous French author had to live in exile from France after he published a pamphlet, Napoléon le Petit, critical of Napoleon III? Victor Hugo

3. What famous composer participated in the 1849 revolution in Dresden in Saxony? Although he was the Royal Saxon Court Conductor at the time, he joined the famous Russian anarchist, Mikhail Bakunin, on the ramparts and made grenades to hurl at the armed forces.  Afterwards, he was forced to flee to Switzerland where he wrote his greatest works.  He also wrote a pamphlet “Art and Revolution” after these events about the role of artists in society from the time of the Ancient Greek. Richard Wagner

4. Which French novelist wrote about the Sentimental Education of the protagonist, Frédéric Moreau, as he lives through the revolution of 1848 in France and his love of an older, married woman? Gustave Flaubert

Week of January 15 - 22

Answer these questions about the deaths of five famous 19th century European authors.

1. Which Russian author, in the last days of his life, left his wife and family and seemingly vanished?  His disappearance became a national phenomenon.  When he turned up in a remote railway station dying of pneumonia, all of Russia followed the story of his death and dozens of his followers, journalists, and police spies traveled to this remote rail station to witness his death.  

2. Which other famous Russian author fell under the influence of a starets, or spiritual elder, who made him fear going to Hell for his writing.  So in the days before his death, he burned the sequel to his only novel, a satirical classic as well as some of his other manuscripts.  He’d spent a decade writing that sequel. He told friends that his writing was a practical joke played on him by the Devil.  He then took to his bed and refused all food, starving himself to death.  In an effort to force him to eat, his friends poured vodka over his face, and tied hot loaves to him and attached leeches to his nose.  Amazingly, none of it worked and he died. 

3. Which famous English author desired to be interred in a grave with his first wife in his local home, but the public and his executor insisted that he be buried in the famed Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey?  A compromise was reached in which his heart was buried at his parish church in Dorset with his wife and his ashes were buried in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey.

4. Which French writer suffered from paranoia due to the syphilis he had contracted as a young man.   He tried to commit suicide by cutting his own throat and was committed to a private asylum where he died a year later?

5. Which French writer died due to carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a faulty chimney?  Some alleged that he was actually murdered by his political enemies and, indeed, a roofer decades later claimed to have closed the chimney for political reasons.