Category Archives: TAKEN FROM LIFE

Taken from Life

The set of characters described in this week’s questions are taken from a book published twenty-four years before its author’s death in June ’74. Even if you have never read the book you will have heard of some if not all of the characters that George portrayed. Find the name of the book and the full name of the author and give the complete names of each of the characters.


  1. Len is from a northern town and his character was appropriated by Arthur C Clarke who described the result of Len’s close observation of the Moon prior to Neil Armstrong’s landing there. His work on stables has made him world famous though the current version has been generously described as bitty – or ‘completely ruined’. Although he was not a doctor he qualified at St Luke’s and was described as a most talented musician. A take off of Len is fantastically described as a flat world inventor.
  2. The second character is Mick, born of a line of bankers. Described as rough and uncouth he was an odd angel. Though from the same region as Len it wasn’t always clear that he was responsible for the Manchester commission that is now in London. Common gossip is that he took a relaxed attitude to his best work – and the best known had to be redone later.
  3. Our third character was master of the largest group (of over fifty) yet managed his business with great efficiency and harmony in contrast with Mick. It may be that he had an ambition to be a cardinal but was that the reason that he mislead his doctor about the cause of his exhaustion, leading to a mistaken prescription and an early death on Good Friday? A favorite guessing game is to name those who went to his school.
  4. Don has fame for victory of the weak over the strong in a just cause – though the present century may find the whole thing quite gruesome and typical of the Old Testament. Producing the same work as Mick, he much earlier came up with a six foot version much smaller than Mick’s later 13 feet 5 inch monster and both could be criticized as being too large.
  5. According to our author Phil was the son of a lawyer. He kept his workers happy at work by providing them with food and wine ‘on the job’ rather than let them waste time and energy finding their own. An ideas man, he used an egg to show that it may be easy to complete a task once shown the method and that he was worth employing because he had the best idea.
  6. You might say “Well done” to Joe who George recorded as a shepherd (because he was good with sheep) though he was actually a blacksmith’s son. His arena includes the record of the Egyptian trip and the wedding at Kafr Kanna amongst much else.
  7. Paul was a mathematician. In a battle split between London, Florence, and Paris a mathematician’s eye ensured that perspective was correct. Interestingly that egg made a more inclusive appearance – on the London part at least.
  8. The fame of Alex probably rests on spring and birth (two separate pieces) and it’s not true that George has this character making a bonfire of his work. What possibly is true is that a third item was the back of a sofa which explains the odd shape even if this grown up version comes three years before her birth!

One of the characters is responsible for record interest for Nick Penny in London. Which character?