Quiz about Cutting the Rug
Quiz about Cutting the Rug

Cutting the Rug Trivia Quiz


Many of Jane Austen's novels are constructed round a pivotal ball or sequence of balls, which provide a resolution of the plot or an epiphany for a major character or characters. Take your partners for the next quiz.

A multiple-choice quiz by balaton. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
balaton
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
368,105
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
402
Last 3 plays: Guest 152 (9/10), Guest 107 (8/10), sadwings (5/10).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. Codes of behaviour at Regency balls were exacting. If a woman turned down one request for a dance, she was obliged to refrain from dancing for the whole evening. In "Pride and Prejudice", Elizabeth Bennet was forced to dance two dances, which she called "dances of humiliation", in order to avoid such a fate.

Who was her unwelcome partner?
Hint

Mr Collins
Mr Wickham
Sir William Lucas
Captain Denny

2. Still in "Pride and Prejudice", at the Meryton Assembly Ball, the future relationship between Jane Bennet and Mr Bingley is firmly established, even if they do not know it themselves. Mrs Bennet is hopeful.

Which two ladies are horrified?
Hint

Lady Lucas and Charlotte Lucas
Lydia and Kitty Bennet
Mrs Philips and Mrs Gardiner
Miss Bingley and Mrs Hurst

3. The first volume of "Pride and Prejudice" is structured around a series of three balls. At the assembly ball Mr Darcy describes Elizabeth as "tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me". He then offers himself as her dance partner at Lucas Lodge and is turned down.

Where is the ball held at which he dances with Elizabeth for the first time?
Hint

Rosings
Pemberley
Netherfield
Longbourne

4. All Austen's heroines, except Elinor Dashwood, dance with the men they love, and all of them have their feelings confirmed by dancing.

What is the occasion of the ball at which Fanny and Edmund dance together in "Mansfield Park"?
Hint

A ball to celebrate the engagement of Maria to Mr Rushworth
A ball in Fanny's honour given by Sir Thomas Bertram
A farewell ball when Sir Thomas leaves for the West Indies
A graduation ball for Tom Bertram

5. The drama of Austen's fiction is shaped around the protocol of the ball. A man can only ask a woman to dance if he has been formally introduced to her. In "Northanger Abbey" a certain young man asks the Master of Ceremonies, in the Assembly rooms in Bath, to introduce him to Catherine Morland.

Who is this eligible young bachelor?
Hint

John Thorpe
Henry Tilney
Frederick Tilney
Mr Allen

6. In "Sense and Sensibility", after apparently being deserted by Willoughby, Marianne is rejected by him at a ball. At the ball it is revealed that Mr. Willoughby is now engaged to a fashionable young woman who has a fortune of 50,000.

What is her name?
Hint

Miss Black
Miss Grey
Miss White
Miss Green

7. In "Emma" where does Emma first dance with Mr Knightley?

Hint

The ball at Mr Martin's
Randalls
The ball at The Crown
Donwell

8. In "Persuasion" what is the name of Anne Elliot's lost love? Hint

Charles Musgrave
Frederick Wentworth
Walter Elliot
Captain Benwick

9. "I consider a country-dance as an emblem of marriage. Fidelity and
complaisance are the principal duties of both; and those men who do not chuse
to dance or marry themselves, have no business with the partners or wives of
their neighbour."

Who said this and in which book?
Hint

Mr Tilney in "Northanger Abbey"
Mr Bennet in "Pride and Prejudice"
Sir Walter Elliot in "Persuasion"
Mr Elton in "Emma"

10. Which couple in "Sense and Sensibility" break the unwritten code of dancing behaviour? Hint

Elinor Dashwood and Edward Ferrars
Colonel Brandon and Marianne Dashwood
Lucy Steele and Robert Ferrars
Willoughby and Marianne Dashwood


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Codes of behaviour at Regency balls were exacting. If a woman turned down one request for a dance, she was obliged to refrain from dancing for the whole evening. In "Pride and Prejudice", Elizabeth Bennet was forced to dance two dances, which she called "dances of humiliation", in order to avoid such a fate. Who was her unwelcome partner?

Answer: Mr Collins

Lovers of Regency novels such as "Pride and Prejudice" will know that going to a dance was a popular form of entertainment in this era. Dances ranged from lavish balls at great country houses to impromptu dances attended by family and friends after dinner. Dances provided an opportunity for young men and women to meet suitable husbands and wives.
Two dances were with the same partner and usually lasted for half an hour, so it would not have been pleasant to dance these with someone that you didn't like!
Mr Collins was of course quite pleased with himself and unaware of his deficiencies either as a dancing partner or as a husband. In fact his choice of Elizabeth for the dance foreshadowed his proposal of marriage the next day.
2. Still in "Pride and Prejudice", at the Meryton Assembly Ball, the future relationship between Jane Bennet and Mr Bingley is firmly established, even if they do not know it themselves. Mrs Bennet is hopeful. Which two ladies are horrified?

Answer: Miss Bingley and Mrs Hurst

Mr Bingley and Jane Bennet meet each other at an assembly which is held in Meryton after Mr Bingley has settled down at Netherfield Park. Mr Bingley attends this assembly in the company of his friend, Mr Darcy, and his sisters, Miss Bingley and Mrs Hurst.

Mr Bingley is greatly struck by the beauty of Jane and tells his friend Mr Darcy that Jane is the most beautiful creature he has ever beheld. He dances with Jane twice, a fact which is observed with great interest by everybody present. Not only does Jane herself feel much gratified by the honour which Mr Bingley has done to her by dancing twice with her, but Jane's mother, Mrs Bennet, also feels immensely pleased. On returning home, Mrs Bennet reports to her husband that she felt delighted to have met Mr Bingley, and that Mr Bingley had thought Jane to be quite beautiful and had therefore danced with her twice. At home, Jane tells her sister Elizabeth that Mr Bingley is just what a young man should be. She says that Mr Bingley is sensible, good-humoured, and lively, and that she had never before seen such happy manners, so much ease, and such perfect good breeding in any man. Thus the attraction between Jane and Mr Bingley is mutual.
3. The first volume of "Pride and Prejudice" is structured around a series of three balls. At the assembly ball Mr Darcy describes Elizabeth as "tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me". He then offers himself as her dance partner at Lucas Lodge and is turned down. Where is the ball held at which he dances with Elizabeth for the first time?

Answer: Netherfield

At the ball at Netherfield Elizabeth has just had the mortifying experience of having to dance twice with Mr Collins and is so taken aback by Mr Darcy asking her to dance that she accepts, scarcely knowing what she is doing.
At the balls in Austen's novels, you can talk during those that require some partners to wait while others perform. Elizabeth and Mr Darcy have their most erotically charged conversation, a kind of verbal fencing match, while they are dancing. "Perhaps by and by I may observe that private balls are much pleasanter than public ones", is Elizabeth's opening gambit.
The effect is one reminiscent of an elaborate courtship ritual.
4. All Austen's heroines, except Elinor Dashwood, dance with the men they love, and all of them have their feelings confirmed by dancing. What is the occasion of the ball at which Fanny and Edmund dance together in "Mansfield Park"?

Answer: A ball in Fanny's honour given by Sir Thomas Bertram

Fanny doesn't yet realize that the love she feels for Edmund goes beyond sisterly affection, and that the negative feelings she has toward Mary Crawford are in part based on jealousy. Here, Austen also refers to - and perhaps pokes fun at - the social custom of "coming out". Before making their social debut, or "coming out", young girls were expected to act modestly, keep quiet, and remain more or less invisible. Depending upon the family, girls of high social rank came out during their mid-teenage years, at which point they were considered marriage prospects, were permitted to socially engage with members of the opposite sex, and began attending balls.

Although Fanny is chronologically beyond the years during which a young lady traditionally came out, she has never been formally debuted in society and is thus considered "not out." This could be construed as the Bertram's way of keeping her to a lowly social standing.

However, things change dramatically at Fanny's first ball. Although not much is made of the affair because of Fanny's low social status, this social celebration signifies that Fanny is now considered a young woman of marriageable age.
5. The drama of Austen's fiction is shaped around the protocol of the ball. A man can only ask a woman to dance if he has been formally introduced to her. In "Northanger Abbey" a certain young man asks the Master of Ceremonies, in the Assembly rooms in Bath, to introduce him to Catherine Morland. Who is this eligible young bachelor?

Answer: Henry Tilney

Catherine eagerly anticipates "the important evening" which was "to usher her into the Upper Rooms". Unfortunately, "Mrs Allen was so long in dressing that they did not enter the ballroom till late." Mrs Allen proceeds to spend the whole evening bemoaning her lack of acquaintances in Bath which prevents her from being able to supply Catherine with a partner. However, Catherine's vanity is satisfied by overhearing two gentlemen pronounce her "to be a pretty girl".
Catherine is more successful when she visits the Lower Rooms: "They made their appearance in the Lower Rooms and here the master of the ceremonies introduced to her a very gentlemanlike young man as a partner; his name was Tilney."

Mr Tilney teases Catherine about what she will write in her journal and gives us a description of what Catherine wore to the Lower Rooms.

"'Yes, I know exactly what you will say: Friday, went to the Lower Rooms; wore my sprigged muslin robe with blue trimmings-plain black shoes-appeared to much advantage; but was strangely harassed by a queer, half-witted man, who would make me dance with him, and distressed me by his nonsense.'"
More light is cast on the ball's conventions:
A conversation between Isabella Thorpe and Catherine's brother James brings up the question of whether it is necessary to change dancing partners at the Upper Rooms. "'How can you be so teasing; only conceive, my dear Catherine, what your brother wants me to do. He wants me to dance with him again, though I tell him that it is a most improper thing, and entirely against the rules. It would make us the talk of the place, if we were not to change partners.'
'Upon my honour,' said James, 'in these public assemblies, it is as often done as not.'"

In Northanger Abbey Henry Tilney explains to Catherine Morland the parallel between dancing and marriage. His definition of matrimony and dancing defines the following parallels: -
"In both, it is an engagement between man and woman, formed for the advantage of each; and that when once entered into, they belong exclusively to each other till the moment of its dissolution; that it is their duty, each to endeavour to give the other no cause for wishing that he or she had bestowed themselves elsewhere, and their best interest to keep their own imaginations from wandering towards the perfections of their neighbours, or fancying that they should have been better off with any one else."
6. In "Sense and Sensibility", after apparently being deserted by Willoughby, Marianne is rejected by him at a ball. At the ball it is revealed that Mr. Willoughby is now engaged to a fashionable young woman who has a fortune of 50,000. What is her name?

Answer: Miss Grey

Mrs. Jennings invites both Elinor and Marianne to London with her during the winter. In London, Marianne improperly writes several letters to Willoughby, telling him that she had arrived in London and requesting him to come and visit her at Mrs. Jennings's house. Willoughby does not respond, throwing Marianne into despair. Elinor and Marianne then meet him at a ball and Marianne confronts him for not replying to her letters. Willoughby treats her very coldly and is obviously paying attention to another lady.

This greatly upsets Marianne who has to be taken home early. The next day, Marianne receives a letter from Willoughby saying that his affections have long been engaged elsewhere and he is sorry if she ever mistakenly thought otherwise. He also returns all her letters and the lock of hair that she had "so obligingly bestowed upon him." Marianne is thrown into utter despair. Elinor thinks that Willoughby has broken an engagement with Marianne, but she explains that they were never engaged.

At the ball it is revealed that Mr. Willoughby is now engaged to a fashionable young woman named Miss Grey who has a fortune of 50,000.
7. In "Emma" where does Emma first dance with Mr Knightley?

Answer: The ball at The Crown

Mr Knightley demonstrates both virtue and fine dancing at the Crown Inn ball. As soon as she sees how well he dances, Emma is quick to attach him to herself, inviting him to "engage" her to dance. Mr Elton has declined Mrs Weston's invitation to dance with Harriet, claiming, as "an old married man, . . . my dancing days are over" , thus reinforcing the parallel between dancing and courtship. Mr Knightley delights the observant Emma by "leading Harriet to the set," where "his dancing proved to be just what she had believed it, extremely good".
Later she draws him into the dance with herself.

"'I am ready,' said Emma, 'whenever I am wanted.'
'Whom are you going to dance with?' asked Mr Knightley.
She hesitated a moment, and then replied, 'With you, if you will ask me.'
'Will you?' said he, offering his hand.
'Indeed I will. You have shown that you can dance, and you know we are not really so much brother and sister as to make it at all improper.'
'Brother and sister! no, indeed.'"

By drawing him into the dance, Austen also draws Mr. Knightley into the marriage market, for the introduction of dancing indicates the instigation of courtship.
8. In "Persuasion" what is the name of Anne Elliot's lost love?

Answer: Frederick Wentworth

Anne Elliot in "Persuasion" has apparently lost her lover and her chance of happiness some years previously and is forced to play the piano at the ball while the man she loves dances with the Musgrave sisters. She no longer dances, ergo she is no longer in the matrimonial stakes. All however ends happily.
9. "I consider a country-dance as an emblem of marriage. Fidelity and complaisance are the principal duties of both; and those men who do not chuse to dance or marry themselves, have no business with the partners or wives of their neighbour." Who said this and in which book?

Answer: Mr Tilney in "Northanger Abbey"

Mr Tilney is perhaps the most likeable of Austen's heroes. He is also the perfect antidote for Catherine's naivete. He and his sister broaden her experience and tease her gently out of her silly romanticism.
10. Which couple in "Sense and Sensibility" break the unwritten code of dancing behaviour?

Answer: Willoughby and Marianne Dashwood

In the novels, most of Austen's heroines have a defining moment in their love life at a ball, albeit not always a happy one as is the case with Marianne Dashwood. From the moment Marianne and Willoughby first met, they demonstrated their mutual attraction more than propriety and society permitted, and their behaviour in the ballroom was no exception.

As soon as Marianne had recovered from her injury, a season of private balls and parties at Barton Park commenced- "This was a season of happiness to Marianne". Willoughby was always invited, due to his attachment to the Dashwoods, an attachment that grew rapidly. Marianne was so blinded by her infatuation with him that she paid no attention to the reproaches of her sister in regard to their inappropriate behaviour.

When they were in each other's company, they only had eyes and ears for each other. When dancing was a part of the evening's entertainment, they partnered each other for most of the night and "when obliged to separate for a couple of dances, were careful to stand together, and scarcely spoke a word to anyone else".
Source: Author balaton

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