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Olga Temnicova Marina Belaia Galina Paciu

Countries in Brief
(Glimpse on Civilization)

T 35

Autori: Olga Temnicova,

Marina Belaia,
Galina Paciu

Responsabil de ediie: Elena Stati

Redactor tehnic i coperta: Silvia Lunevi

Temnicova, Olga

English-Speaking Countries in Brief / Olga Temnicova, Marina Belaia, Galina Paciu.

- Ch.: Lyceum, 2010
(F.E.-P. Tipogr. Central) . - 64 p.

1000 ex.

ISBN 978-9975-939-45-4.

mun. Chiinu
str. Pukin 24, bir. 28
tel.: 21-26-36
fax: 21-26-36
Tipar efectuat la Tipografia Central

ISBN 978-9975-939-45-4. Lyceum

Olga Temnicova,
Marina Belaia,
Galina Paciu


Dear Friends!
This booklet was designed to help you prepare for the BAC exam,
as one of the points in it is Civilization. It is full of useful information
about English-speaking countries.
The booklet can be used both by teachers and students as additional
material to the textbooks. Teachers can use comprehension questions for
making cards, preparing oral and written credits, etc. The set of tests is a
good way to check the understanding of the suggested material.
We hope you will find it interesting, challenging and enjoyable.

Good luck!

The united kingdom of great britain
and nothern ireland
The British Isles are situated in the North-West
of Europe. The largest islands are Great Britain and
Ireland, but there are also many small islands. The
British Isles are washed by the Atlantic Ocean, the
North Sea, the Irish Sea (which is between the two
biggest islands of the British Isles). The English
Channel separates the British Isles from Europe.
The narrowest part of the English Channel is the
Strait of Dover (32 km). The climate of the British
Isles is mild, the winters are not very cold and the
summers are not very hot. The shores of the British
Isles are washed by the warm Atlantic current the
Gulf Stream, that is why it is warmer on the British
Isles than in other countries on the same latitude.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and North-
ern Ireland (or the UK) occupies the whole territory
of Great Britain and the north-eastern part of Ire-
land. The largest part of Ireland is the Irish Republic. The UK consists of 4 parts:
England, the biggest and the most populated part, Scotland, Wales and Northern
Ireland. The population is about 60 million people. The capital of England and the
UK is London ( 10 million people). The symbol of England is the red rose. The
capital of Scotland is Edinburgh, its symbol is the thistle. The capital of Wales is
Cardiff, its symbols are the daffodil and the leek. The capital of Northern Ireland
is Belfast, its symbol is the shamrock. The official language of the UK is English,
in other parts of the country people also speak Welsh, Scottish and Irish. There are 4
main nationalities in the UK: the English, the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish.
There are no high mountains on the British Isles. Ben Nevis in Scotland is the
highest mountain. The northern part of Scotland is called the Highlands and the
southern part is called the Lowlands. The highest mountain in Wales is Snowdon.
The British Isles have many rivers, though they are not very long. The Severn in
England is the longest river. The Thames is the second longest river. London stands
on this river. The Thames is very important because it is navigable. There are many
lakes in the UK. The most famous is Loch Ness in Scotland, they say that there lives
a monster. A group of lakes in the north of England is called the Lake District, it is
very picturesque part and attracts a lot of tourists.
The United Kingdom is highly industrialized country. The main industries are:
clothes, food- manufacturing and plane-, car- , ship-building. The biggest industrial
cities are: London, Birmingham, Manchester (the centre of textile industry), Shef-
field. The main ports of the country are London, Glasgow (the biggest city in Scot-

land), Liverpool and Leeds. Oxford and Cambridge are the main university cities
of the UK. Stratford-upon-Avon is the birthplace of William Shakespeare.
The UK is a parliamentary monarchy. The head of the country is the monarch
(Queen Elizabeth II), but her power is restricted by the Parliament. British laws are
made in the Parliament which consists of two Houses: the House of Lords and the
House of Commons. The members of the House of Lords are not elected, they get
their seats hereditarily. The members of the House of Lords are usually aristocracy,
lawyers, heads of church, members of the royal family. The main political parties of
the UK are: the Conservative, Liberal and Social-Democratic and Labour.
The flag of the UK is called the Union Jack. It consists of three crosses of St.
Andrew (of Scotland), St. George (of England) and St. Patrick (of Ireland).

Comprehension Questions:

1. What type of state is the United Kingdom?

2. What is the official name of the country?
3. Who is the Head of State?
4. What is monarchy?
5. What kind of monarchy is the UK?
6. What Houses does the British Parliament consist of?
7. Who is elected every five years?
8. Who are the members of the House of Lords?
9. Which part of Parliament is elected?
10. Where are the British Isles situated?
11. What are the biggest islands of the UK?
12. What sea is between the two largest islands?
13. What is Great Britain?
14. What separates Great Britain from Europe?
15. What is the English Channel?
16. What is the narrowest part between the UK and Europe?
17. What lake in Scotland is the most famous?
18. What seas is the UK washed by?
19. What other languages apart from English does the population of the UK
20. What mountains of Great Britain can you name?
21. Is England mountainous or flat?
22. What is the highest mountain in Wales?
23. What is Ben Nevis?
24. What is Snowdon?

25. What is Loch Ness?
26. What are the largest cities of the UK?
27. What are the main famous British University cities?
28. What is the capital of the UK?
29. What is the capital of Scotland?
30. What is the capital of Wales?
31. What is the capital of Northern Ireland?
32. What is Cambridge?
33. What is Cardiff?
34. What is Manchester?
35. What is Glasgow?
36. What is Oxford?
37. What is Stratford-upon-Avon?
38. Name the largest ports of the UK.
39. What are the symbols of the UK main countries?
40. What part of the UK is the largest and the most important?
41. What is the emblem of England?
42. What is the symbol of Scotland?
43. What is the symbol of Northern Ireland?
44. How many nationalities are there in the UK?
45. What is the UK population?
46. What is the flag of the UK?
47. What crosses does the flag consist of?
48. What can you tell about the climate in the UK?
49. Why is Britain warmer than other countries on the same latitude?
50. What warm current washes the British Isles?
51. What is the birthplace of William Shakespeare?
52. What rivers and lakes of the UK can you name?
53. What are the main rivers of the UK?
54. What river is the longest on the British Isles?
55. What is the most important river in Great Britain? Why?
56. What is Northern England famous for?
57. What river flows in London?
58. How many people live in London?
59. What are the main industries in England?
60. What are the main political parties of the UK?

London was founded about 2000 years ago by the Romans. Its first name was
Londinium. The population is about 10 million people. London consists of 4 main
parts: 1. West End (the richest part); 2. East End (the industrial part); 3. Westmin-
ster (the administrative part); 4. The City (a business part of London, sometimes it
is called the Londons heart).
London is situated on the river Thames. There
are 27 bridges across the river. The oldest is Lon-
don Bridge. The Tower Bridge is one of the most
famous land marks of the city, the first draw bridge
in London, sometimes it symbolizes London.
Londoners use buses (some are called double-
deckers), taxis (they are black and old-fashioned
from outside) and the Tube (London underground). Taxi is the most expensive
transport in the capital.
The political centre of the country is the Houses of Parliament (or Westminster
Palace) - the seat of the British Government. It consists of two parts the House of
Lords and the House of Commons. There are two towers in West-
minster Palace: Victoria Tower and Big Ben (the clock tower).
Downing Street, 10 is the official residence of the Prime Min-
Westminster Abbey is the oldest church in London, the cen-
tre of the church power in London. It is the principal church and
the coronation place of English Kings and Queens. There is a
Poets Corner in Westminster Abbey where famous people are
buried. The first poet buried in Westminster Abbey was Jeffrey
Chaucer (the first poet who wrote in English).
Buckingham Palace is the official residence of the
Queen, the centre of the royal power. It has 600 rooms,
some of them are opened to the public. Every morning
at 11:30 in front of Buckingham Palace takes place the
Changing of the Guards ceremony which attracts a lot of
tourists. If there is the flag (the Royal Standard) above the
building, that means that Queen is in London. The nick-
name of the palace is Buck House.
Trafalgar Square is the central square in London. It has 2 fountains. In the centre
of the square there is a monument to Admiral Nelson, which is called the Nelsons
Column. The National Portrait Gallery is situated in the north of the Trafalgar
Square. It contains a big collection of European paintings of different ages.
Piccadilly Circus is the meeting place of young people. There is the fountain with
the God of Requited (mutual) Love on its top in the centre of the circus.
There are 3 main parks in London: St. James Park, Hyde Park and Regents
Park. Hyde Park is the biggest park in London. It is called the most democratic park

in the world, with its world famous Speakers Corner. This is the place where any
person can tell the passers-by everything that worries him or her. Regents Park is the
home of London Zoo.
The British Museum is the biggest museum in London that contains vast collec-
tions of antiquities from Greece, Egypt and Asia. The British Museum is the home of
the largest library in Europe. It contains 6 million books. The shape of the Reading
Room in the British Museum library is round.
St. Pauls Cathedral is situated in the City, a business part of London. It is the
largest Protestant church in London. The Cathedral was designed by Sir Christopher
Wren, who was the main architect of London after the Great Fire of London of 1666.
It lasted for 5 days and destroyed 80% of the city. Whispering Gallery famous for
its acoustics is situated there. Famous people are buried in St. Pauls, among them are
Sir Christopher Wren and Admiral Nelson.
The Tower of London is the oldest building in
London: it is more than 900 years old. It was founded
by William the Conqueror in 1066. During its histo-
ry the Tower was: 1. a fortress; 2. a royal residence;
3. a prison; 4. London Zoo; 5. It is the museum of
armoury and Crown Jewels now. The Guards of the
Tower are called Yeoman Warders (Beefeaters).
There is a legend that if the ravens leave the Tower
of London the Tower and the Kingdom will fall. Thats why at least 7 (6+1) ravens
are kept in the Tower of London as the symbol of its security. The Raven Master
takes care of ravens. Every evening the Key Ceremony takes place in the Tower,
when Beefeaters give the keys of the Tower to the Royal night guard.
Madame Tussauds Museum is the museum of wax figures of famous people.
The Globe Theatre is associated with William Shakespeare. His plays are staged

Comprehension Questions:

1. By whom was London founded?

2. What was the first name given to London by Romans?
3. What is the population of London?
4. What parts does London consist of?
5. What is industrial part of London?
6. What part is the richest in London?
7. What is the City?
8. What part of London can be called its centre?
9. What is the name of Londons main architect?
10. What is the centre of Royal Power in London?

11. What is the centre of political power in London?
12. What is the centre of church power in London?
13. What is there in Piccadilly Circus?
14. What is Piccadilly Circus famous for?
15. Where is the famous Speakers Corner situated in London?
16. Which church is the largest in London?
17. Who was St. Pauls Cathedral designed by?
18. Where is St. Pauls situated?
19. What famous people are buried in St. Pauls?
20. Where can you climb to the Whispering Gallery?
21. Where is the largest library situated?
22. What does the British Museum comprise?
23. How many books are there in British Museum Library?
24. What is the shape of the Reading Room in the British Museum?
25. What is the Thames?
26. how many bridges are there across the Thames?
27. Which bridge symbolizes London?
28. What is the central square in London?
29. Where can you see the Nelsons Column?
30. What do you know about Trafalgar Square?
31. Where is National Gallery situated in London?
32. What building is the oldest in London?
33. How old is the Tower of London?
34. What was the Tower of London used for?
35. Who was the founder of the Tower of London?
36. What birds live in the Tower of London?
37. Where can you see the Key Ceremony?
38. Where are the Crown Jewels kept in London?
39. How are the guards in the Tower of London called?
40. What are the duties of the Raven Master?
41. Why are the ravens in the Tower of London taken care of?
42. What do you know about the Tower Bridge?
43. What kind of museum is the Tower of London now?
44. What is Buckingham Palace?

45. Where can you see the Changing of the Guard ceremony?
46. When does the guard change in front of Buckingham Palace?
47. How many rooms are there in Buckingham Palace?
48. What is the nickname of Buckingham Palace?
49. What is Downing Street famous for?
50. What is Big Ben?
51. What is the other name of the Houses of Parliament?
52. Where can you see the Victoria Tower?
53. What towers are there in Westminster Palace?
54. Where does the Prime Minister live in London?
55. Where does the Queen live in London?
56. How can we learn that the Queen is in London?
57. Which is the first drawbridge in London?
58. Which bridge is the oldest in London?
59. Where does the British Parliament seat?
60. Name the parks of London.
61. Where is London Zoo situated?
62. Which is the oldest church in London?
63. What is the crowning place of kings and queens in London?
64. What can you say about Westminster Abbey?
65. Where is a Poets Corner situated?
66. What happened to London in 1666?
67. What can you see at Madame Tussauds?
68. What kind of transport do Londoners use?
69. What is the Tube?
70. Where can you see plays by Shakespeare?

Born to be the king
William Arthur Philip Louis Windsor was born on
June 21st, 1982, at St. Marys Hospital, Paddington, in Lon-
don. He was the first of two boys born to Princess Diana
and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales. The newspapers, still
full of stories about their whirlwind romance and fairy-tale
marriage, celebrated the new arrival with even more cover-
William started travelling very early and had flown as
far as Australia and New Zealand before he was two years
old, and before he was three, he had added Italy to the list.
After spending five years at Ludgrove School, William
completed his schooling at the famous Eton College. The
school was conveniently located next door to the family
home, Windsor Castle. He grew to love all ball sports, particularly water polo, and
continues to play now, although he has never been keen on the academic side of life.
In 1996, when William was just fourteen years old, his parents relationship ended
in divorce. This was a very difficult time for him and his younger brother, Harry.
But nothing could have prepared them for the shock of their mother dying tragically
the following year. There was huge sympathy for both boys from people around the
world, as they watched them deal with their grief in front of the television cameras.
After finishing school, William took a gap year and spent time in Belize, Chile
and Africa before taking up a place at the University of St. Andrews, in Scotland, in
2001. However, he didnt take to his new surroundings immediately and by the end
of his first term there, he was ready to quit. Following a long chat with his father at
Highgrove, his fathers house, he agreed to stay a little longer. He past loved univer-
sity life, and he praised the warmth of the people of Edinburgh.
In a recent, William commented that although he loves cooking for his house-
mates, who are all very good cooks, he is a useless cook himself. He also revealed
that he is trying to learn Swahili, a language spoken in Kenya and Tanzania, as he
would like to spend time in East Africa and be able to speak to the people in their
own language.
For his 21st birthday, shy William had refused to have a large public party, opt-
ing instead for a small gathering with family and friends. The Royal Mail decided to
mark the occasion with a set of commemorative stamps, issued four days before his
Speculation still surrounds the question of a special lady in Williams life, al-
though William has only affectionately spoken of one: Widgeon, his female black
Labrador dog.

Prince william quiz

1. When was William born? a) 1980

b) 1982
c) 1984

2. When he was just one year old, he traveled to a) Australia and New Zealand.
b) Italy and Greece.
c) Argentina and Chile.

3. Which school did he attend? a) Yale

b) Harrow
c) Eton

4. True or false? He loves all ball sports. T F

5. How old was he when his mother died? a) 13

b) 14
c) 15

6. Whats the name of his university? a) St. Marys

b) St. Andrews
c) St. Pauls

7. After his first term at university, he a) had two serious girlfriends.

b) was the best student in his year.
c) wanted to leave.

8. What is his fathers house called? a) Highgrove

b) Southfork
c) Smithfield

9. True or false? Among his other skills, he is very good cook. T F

10. He is currently learning to speak

a) Chinese.
b) Spanish.
c) Swahili.

11. To mark his birthday, he wanted to a) have a huge party with 8,000 guests.
b) appear on a set of postage stamps.
c) star in a Hollywood film.

12. True or false? His current girlfriends nickname is Widgeon. T F

Queen elizabeth ii and the british monarchy
1. How much do you know about the Queen and the Monarchy of the United
Kingdom? Try to answer the qiestions.

a. When was Queen Elizabeth II crowned?

b. Who is the Queen married to?
c. Who are her children and grandchildren?
d. What are her Official Residences?
e. What is the Queens role as Monarch?
f. What are the Union Jack and the Royal Standard?
g. What is the British National Anthem called?
h. What are Crown Jewels?
i. What is the Commonwealth?
j. How is succession to the throne decided?
k. What is Queen Elizabeths full name?
l. Why does the Queen have two birthdays?

2. Match the questions in 1 with the answers below. The first one has been
done for you.

Q: What is Queen Elizabeths full name?________________________________

A: Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor. She belongs to Britains Royal House

(Family) of Windsor. Her official title is: Elizabeth the Second, by grace of God, of
the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Her other Realms and
Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.

Q: ______________________________________________________________

A: This is an old tradition, which has to do with the British weather! No matter
when the Monarchs birthday actually is, the official birthday is celebrated in June
each year as there is less chance of rain. The Queen was actually born on April 21,
1926 in London.

Q: ______________________________________________________________

A: The Queen was married to Philip Mountbatten, the son of Prince Andrew of
Greece, on November 20, 1947 in Westminster Abbey in London. The Queens hus-
band is known as Prince Philip, not King Philip, because in the British monarchy the
husband of a female monarch does not have any special status. The wife of a male
monarch, however, does take on the title of Queen. Both Elizabeth and Philip are
great-great grandchildren of Queen Victoria.

Q: ______________________________________________________________

A: Queen Elizabeth II has 4 children: 1. Charles, Prince of Wales, born in 1948;

2. Anne, Princess Royal, born in 1950; 3. Andrew, Dike of York, born in 1960; 4. Ed-
ward, earl of Wessex, born in 1964. All Her children are married and have children.
Charles has two sons: Prince William, born in 1982, and Prince Henry, born in 1984.
Anne has a son and a daughter: Peter Phillips, born in 1977, and Zara Phillips, born
in 1982. Andrew has two daughters: Princess Beatrice, born in 1988, and Princess
Eugenie, born in 1990. Edward has a daughter and a son: Lady Louse, born in 2003,
and James Viscount Severn, born in 2007. Queen Elizabeth II has 8 grandchildren.

Q: ______________________________________________________________

A: The Queens coronation was on June 2, 1953 in Westminster Abbey in London.

She is currently the worlds second longest reigning monarch.

Q: ______________________________________________________________

A: The oldest son of the reigning king or queen will become the next king. If there
are no sons, the oldest daughter becomes queen. A law dating back to 1720 states that
anyone marrying a Catholic is excluded from the line of succession. The following
list is the current order of succession to the throne: 1. Prince Charles; 2. Prince Wil-
liam; 3. Prince Henry; 4. Prince Andrew; 5. Princess Beatrice; 6. Princess Eugenie;
7. Prince Edward; 8. Princess Anne; 9. Peter Phillips; 10. Zara Phillips.

Q: ______________________________________________________________

A: Buckingham Palace in London, Windsor Castle in Berkshire and the Palace of

Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, Scotland. She also has private residences at Sandring-
ham in Norfolk and Balmoral castle in Scotland.

Q: ______________________________________________________________

A: The Queen has many constitutional roles as head of State. She is the supreme
power in the legislature (Parliament), the executive (the government), and the judi-
ciary (law). In reality, however, she simply acts on the advice of government minis-
ters. She meets with Prime Minister every week.
The Queen is also the head of the Church of England and the Commander-in-
Chief of the armed forces.
The Queen has many ceremonial functions, such as opening each new session of
parliament, and is patron of over 100 organisations. She has about 300 engagements
each year.

Q: ______________________________________________________________

A: The Commonwealth consists of a number of states that formerly belonged to

the British Empire. The Commonwealth includes Australia, Canada and New Zea-
land and a number of smaller states such as Jamaica, the Bahamas and Fiji.
Queen Elizabeth is Head of the Commonwealth and is also Head of State of sev-
enteen countries within the Commonwealth.

Q: ______________________________________________________________

A: The Crown Jewels have been used by English kings and queens for many
centuries and include regalia (items used at a coronation), crowns, robes and medals.
The original collection has been housed in the Tower of London since 1303, when it
is on view to the public.

Q: ______________________________________________________________

A: In September 1745, King George I was defeated in a battle near Edinburgh.

When the news reached London, the band at the theatre Royal played God Save the
King in support of the King. It was a tremendous success and the tradition soon be-
came established. The first verse of the National Anthem is:
God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen.
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us,
God save the Queen.

Q: ______________________________________________________________

A: The Union Jack is the national flag of the United Kingdom. It is so called be-
cause it includes the flags of all the countries (England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland)
of the United Kingdom. The Royal Standard is flown wherever the Queen is in resi-
dence, on the Queens cars on official journeys and on her aircraft and boats.

The Educational System of the UK
Scotland and Northern Ireland have edu-
cational system of their own basically similar
to that of England and Wales, but different in
detail. The system of public education in Eng-
land and Wales is organized in three stages of
Primary, Secondary and Further Education.
The first two are compulsory for all children.
Further education is voluntary. All children
must, by law, go to school when they are five.
They can leave school at 15, but many boys
and girls stay at school until they are 16 or 17
and then go to further education or to the university.
The primary school is sorted into three categories: nursery schools (2-5), infant
schools (5-7) and junior schools (7-11). The full secondary school age ranges from11
to 18. Children go to grammar school, or to a secondary modern school, or to a sec-
ondary technical school, or to a comprehensive school, or to an independent school.
The academic year begins after summer holidays and is divided into three terms
with the intervals between them formed by the Christmas and Easter holidays. Day-
schools mostly work on Mondays to Fridays only, from 9 a.m. to between 3 and 4
At the age of eleven English children take an examination. If they do well in the
exam, they go to a grammar school; if they do not, they go to a secondary modern
school. The schools can be public and private.
Further education comprises all forms of public education except secondary and
university education and teacher training. It covers practically every kind and level
of education and training, formal and informal. The main sub-divisions of vocational
education are technical, commercial, art, agricultural and cultural.
Academic work and professional training differ from college to college. Many
students between 15 and 18 attend mainly part-time and evening courses. Many col-
leges have sandwich courses or short full-time block release courses instead of
part-time courses. There are several patterns for sandwich courses: six months in
college and six months in industry; four weeks in college and eight weeks in industry;
six weeks in college and ten weeks in industry. The effectiveness of sandwich courses
is recognized.
Higher education is provided at universities and on advanced courses at poly-
technics and other establishments of higher and further education. The oldest and
best-known universities are in Oxford, Cambridge, London, Manchester, Liverpool,
Durham, Edinburgh, Bristol, Cardiff, Birmingham. A university consists of a num-
ber of faculties: divinity, economics, arts (philosophy), law, music, natural sciences,
economics, engineering, agriculture, commerce and education. After three years of
study, a student may proceed to a Bachelors degree and later to the degree of Master
and Doctor.

The United States of America
America was discovered by Co-
lumbus in 1492. The USA is situ-
ated in the central part of the North
American continent. The USA bor-
ders on Canada in the north and on
Mexico in the south. It is washed by
the Pacific in the west, the Atlantic
Ocean in the east and by the Gulf
of Mexico in the south. The area of
the USA is over 9 min sq km. The
landscape of the country is vari-
ous, there are mountains, valleys, highlands, lowlands and deep canyons ; the Grand
Canyons is the biggest. It is one of the natural wonders of the world as well. The
main mountain ranges are the Appalachian Mountains in the east and the Rocky
Mountains in the west, the highest peak is Mt. Denali (Mt. McKinley). Between
the Cordillera and Appalachian mountains are the central lowlands, which are called
the prairies. Desert area is situated in the south- west of the country. The main rivers
of the USA are the Mississippi (the longest), the Colorado, the Columbia, the St.
Lawrence, the Rio Grande, the Yukon. The main fresh water resource is the five
Great Lakes: Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, Lake Erie and Lake
Ontario. The world famous Niagara Falls are situated between lakes Erie and On-
tario. There are many other lakes in the USA, Minnesota is called the state of lakes.
The USA is a very large country, so it has several different climatic regions ranging
from subtropical in Florida to arctic in Alaska.
The USA consists of 50 states, Alaska and Ha-
waii lie apart from the main territory. The largest
state is Alaska and the smallest state is Rhode Is-
land. The population of the USA is more than 300
million people. The USA is called the country of
immigrants because there you can find representa-
tives of nearly all nations and nationalities of the
world. The natives of the country are American
Indians, and Alaska native people.
The capital of the USA is Washington D.C.
Letters D.C. stand for District of Columbia, a separate territory around the capital that
doesnt belong to any state with its own laws and regulations. The population of the
capital is about 572.000 people. The main street of the city is Pennsylvania Avenue,
it connects the main places of interest: the Capitol, the White House, Lincoln Memo-
rial, Jefferson Memorial and Washington Monument.
New York is the biggest city in the USA. It stands on the river Hudson. Its popula-
tion is more than 10 million people. The main places of interest in New York are: the

statue of Liberty (given as a present from France it is
considered the architectural symbol of the country),
the Empire State Building (the first sky-scraper, built
in 1929), Brooklyn Bridge, the Metropolitan Muse-
um, Broadway ( NY theatre district).
Other big cities of the USA are: Boston, Chicago
(the highest sky-scraper, the Sears Tower, is situated
in Chicago), Detroit, Philadelphia, San Francisco
(The Golden Gate Bridge is the symbol of this city),
Los Angeles (in California, Hollywood the centre
of the US film industry), Las Vegas ( the gambling
centre of the country, the city that never sleeps, some-
times is called The Disneyland for Adults).
Rushmore Mountain is a monument to 4 famous
presidents of the USA: George Washington, Thomas
Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt
carved in a rock, inside the rock there is a historical museum.
The USA is a highly developed industrial country. It is rich in: coal, iron, oil, natu-
ral gas, gold, silver and other mineral resources. The main industries of the country
are: heavy, automobile, machine-building, textile, food, electronic equipment.
The United States of America is federal democracy consisting of 50 states, each of
which has its own government. The present constitution was proclaimed in 1787 in
Philadelphia, this document sets the basic form of the US government. The president,
elected for 4 years, is the head of the state and the Government. Congress consists
of two houses, the House of Representatives and the Senate. Election to the House
of Representatives takes place every 2 years. There are 100 senators (two from each
state), they are elected every 6 years. The US government has three branches: legis-
lative - Congress; executive the president and the cabinet; judicial the Supreme
Court, which consist of 9 judges, who work as long as they live.
In the USA there are two main political parties, the Democratic Party and the
Republican Party. The Democratic Party is the older. Its symbol is a donkey. The
Republican Party is called Grand Old Party (G. O. P.). Its symbol is an elephant. The
flag of the USA consists of 13 stripes and 50 stars. It is called Stars and Stripes or
Uncle Sam. Stripes stand for first 13 colonies which in 1776 united and formed the
USA. Stars stand for the present number of the states.

Comprehension Questions:

1. Where is the USA situated?

2. When was the USA founded?
3. When was America discovered?
4. How large is its territory?
5. What is its population?
6. What oceans is the USA washed by?

7. What countries does the USA have borders with?
8. Why is America a land of physical contrasts?
9. What do we call the praries?
10. Where are the Great Plains situated?
11. What are the highest mountains of the USA?
12. What rivers of the USA can you name?
13. Which river is the longest?
14. What do you know about the Great Lakes?
15. What state is known as the land of lakes?
16. Where is a desert area situated?
17. What mineral resources is the USA rich in?
18. What are main cities in the USA?
19. Where is the highest sky-scraper situated?
20. What is Las Vegas famous for?
21. What sightseeings can you see in the city of New York?
22. What is architectural symbol of the USA?
23. Whats the largest canyon of the USA?
24. What do you know about the climate in the USA?
25. What kind of state is the USA?
26. What is the capital of the USA?
27. What is the official residence of the President?
28. How many states does the USA consist of?
29. Who is the head of the State?
30. How do Americans call their flag?
31. What does the national flag of the USA symbolize?
32. Why is the USA called the nation of immigrants?
33. What document sets the basic form of the US Government?
34. When was the present Constitution proclaimed?
35. What parts does the Congress consist of?
36. What are the three branches of the US Government?
37. What the legislative branch?
38. What is the executive branch?
39. How often are the senators elected?
40. What are the main political parties in the USA?
41. What is the oldest party in the USA?
42. Whats the symbol of the Republican Party?
43. What is the symbol of the Democratic Party?
44. Who is the President of the USA?
45. What industries are developed in the USA?
46. What are the main industrial centres in the USA?
47. Whats the centre of the US film industry?

Washington D.C.
The capital of the USA is Washington D.C.
Letters D.C. stand for District of Columbia, a sep-
arate territory around the capital that doesnt be-
long to any state with its laws and regulations. The
place for the future capital was chosen by George
Washington, the 1st American president. The city
stands on the Potomac River, it was called Wash-
ington only after the death of George Washington,
but before that is was called Federal City. The role
of the first capital before Washington D.C. was played by Philadelphia. Washington
D.C. was the first well planned city. Pierre Charles LEnfant was chosen to design
the city. The streets that run from North to South are numbered, and streets that run
from East to west are lettered. The population of the capital is about 2 million peo-
ple. The main street of the city is Pennsylvania Avenue, it connects the main places
of interest: the Capitol, the White House, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial and
Washington Monument. There are no sky-scrapers in Washington D.C. because it is
forbidden by the law to build houses taller than the Capitol. It is the highest building
in the capital (54 metres ), it has 420 rooms.
The White House (the first name the Executive Mansion) was founded in
1792 the architect was James Hoban ). The first president who lived in the White
House was the 2nd president John Adams. The official address of the White House is
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, it has 132 rooms, some of them are opened for the public.
The working room of the president is called the Oval Cabinet.
Lincoln Memorial was built in honour of the 16th president of the USA (Lincoln
belonged to Republican Party), who in 1863 abolished slavery and also proclaimed
Thanksgiving a national holiday.
Jefferson Memorial, is another place of interest dedicated to the 3rd president,
who was one of the authors of the Declaration of Independence and US Constitu-
The Library of Congress is also worth see-
ing in Washington D.C. It was founded in 1800
and contains 80 million books..
Washington Monument is the monument to
the 1st president, who was called the father of our
country, it is over 169 m tall, has a shape of a pen-
cil, thats why it is sometimes called Pencil.
There are many museums in the capital, 19 museums are known under one name
the Smithsonian Institution.

Comprehension Questions:

1. When was the capital of the USA founded?

2. Who was it named after?
3. What do letters D.C. mean?
4. What do you know about the District of Columbia?
5. What river does the city stand on?
6. What do you know about the place of the city?
7. Why was the capital called Washington?
8. What was the name of the capital before it was called Washington?
9. What architect was chosen to design Washington?
10. What is the population of the capital of the USA?
11. What are numbered and lettered streets?
12. What places of interest in Washington do you know?
13. What is the official home of the US President?
14. When was the White House built?
15. How many rooms are there in the White House?
16. Which American President was the first to live in the White House?
17. How do they call the room where the President works in the White House?
18. What was the first capital of the USA?
19. Are there any sky-scrapers in Washington? Why?
20. What building dominates the city of Washington?
21. What is the Capitol famous for?
22. How many rooms are there in the Capitol?
23. How tall is the Washington Monument?
24. Why is it called the Pencil?
25. What memorials can you see in the city of Washington?
26. What is the name of the famous collection of museums in Washington D.C.?
27. Name the largest library in the USA.
28. Why is the library of Congress worth seeing?
29. Whats the name of the main avenue of the capital?
30. What official buildings does Pennsylvania Avenue house?

Famous presidents

Before the United States won independence from Brit-

ish rule, George Washington was a farmer in the colony
of Virginia. He served as a military leader in the Revolu-
tionary War. The colonists trusted him because he did not
want power for himself. He wanted all the states and the
people to work together as one. He wanted the government
to serve the people well.
Washington said that power should belong to institu-
tions, not to men. He also said that people could understand
the US Constitution in many ways, not just one. He did not
think that the United States should have strong ties with
other countries. George Washington was the first President of the United States from
1789 to 1796. He is often called the Father of Our Country.


Thomas Jefferson could do many things. As a young

man, he was a farmer and a lawyer in Virginia. He was also
a scientist, an inventor, a philosopher, and an architect. He
designed his own home, called Monticello. He could com-
municate in French, Italian, Spanish, Latin, and Greek.
Many of Jeffersons ideas became basic principles of
the government of the United States. For example, he be-
lieved that all men are created equal (are born the same
and should receive the same treatment under law). He also
said that power must come from the consent of the gov-
ernment (the voters, not the leaders). He wanted free elections, a free press, and free
Thomas Jefferson held many important government jobs. He was Ambassador
to France, Secretary of State (under George Washington), Vice President (under John
Adams), and the third President of the United States, from 1801 to 1809. as President,
Jefferson bought the huge Louisiana Territory for the United states from France.


Abraham Lincoln grew up in Kentucky in a log cabin.

He couldnt go to school, so he taught himself. He became
a lawyer. Friends called him Honest Abe. As a delegate
from Illinois, he served in Congress from 1847 to 1849.
Lincoln was against slavery and gave some famous speech-
es about his ideas when he was running for the Senate.
In 1861 Abraham Lincoln became the sixteenth Presi-
dent of the United States. He wanted the states of the
Union to work together as one country, but he had to lead
the North against the South in the Civil War. Some people
thought that Lincoln was too strong as President because
he used power that the Constitution did not give him.
President Lincoln freed the slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation. He had a
plan to bring the South back into the Union after the Civil War, but he couldnt carry
out the plan because he was assassinated. In 1865 an actor named John Wilkes Booth
shot Abraham Lincoln.


John F. Kennedy was President for only three years,

from 1961 to 1963, but his personality and ideas changed
America. He was both the first Roman Catholic and the
youngest President in the history of the country. He set
clear goals for America. For example, he promised that
the United States would land a man on the moon before
Kennedy supported the ideas of Martin Luther King,
Jr. and fought for civil rights, fair housing, and programs
to stop poverty. He asked Congress for more money for
education and medical care for elderly people.
Kennedy was against Communism. For example, when
the Soviet Union put missiles in Cuba, he sent US ships to surround the island. But
he believed hat the best way to fight Communism was not by sending armies but by
attacking poverty and injustice. He organized the Alliance for Progress to help the
countries of Latin America. He started the Peace Corps and sent Americans to over
sixty countries in Africa, Asia, and South America. These young volunteers worked
and lived with the people, built schools, and taught farmers more modern methods.
Kennedy was a man for the future. He worked to stop the testing of nuclear weap-
ons. But on November 22, 1963, he was assassinated.

Which President is each sentence about? Write the first initial of his last name
on the line.

W = Washington J = Jefferson L = Lincoln K = Kennedy

J This farmer and lawyer from Virginia was also a scientist, an inventor, a
1. ___
philosopher, and an architect, and he knew many languages.
2. ___ The colonists trusted this farmer from the colony of Virginia because he did
not want power for himself.
3. ___ This young Roman Catholic was President for only three years because he
was assassinated in 1963.
4. ___ He served as a military leader in the fight of the colonists for independence
from the British rule.
5. ___ This honest man taught himself and became a lawyer and a Congressman
from Illinois.
6. ___ He was against slavery but wanted the states of the North and South to work
together as a nation.
7. ___ Many of his ideas (for example, about equality, the consent of the govern-
ment, free press, and free speech) are basic principles of the government of the
United States.
8. ___ He was an Ambassador, Secretary of State, and Vice President before he
became the third President of the United States.
9. ___ He was a man for the future, and one of his goals was to land a man on the
moon before 1970.
10. ___ As the sixteenth President, he used power that was not given by the Consti-
tution when he led the northern states in the Civil War.
11. ___ He did not think the United States should have strong ties to other nations.
12. ___ He bought the Louisiana Territory for the United States from France.
13. ___ He is often called the Father of Our Country.
14. ___ His Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves, but he was assassinated
before he could bring the South back into the Union.
15. ___ He supported civil rights, fair housing, and programs to stop poverty, and he
wanted more money for education and medical care for elderly people.
16. ___ He tried to stop Communism with the Alliance for Progress and the Peace
Corps and was against nuclear weapons.

The Educational System of the USA
Most Americans start school at the age of
five when they enter kindergarten. Children do
not really study at this time. They only attend
school for half the day and learn what school
is like. Pre-school education in public nursery
schools and kindergartens aims at the childs
individual development.
There are two major divisions in the el-
ementary and secondary school system in the
USA public schools and private schools. In
public schools the education is free of charge
while in private schools the education is paid by the parents of the children attending
these schools. Each state has its own laws for the educational system.
Two of the most common ways to organize the schools are by plans designated
as 8-4 and 6-3-3. The 8-4 plan refers to an elementary school which includes
all pupils in grades on through an eight- and four-year high school. The 6-3-3 plan
has a six-year elementary school, a three-year junior school, and a three-year junior
high school.
Some private schools are connected with churches, and children receive religious
instruction as well as their regular studies. Other private schools are not religious, but
have small classes and very good teachers so that parents think their children will get
a better education there than in the larger classes of the public schools.
In their secondary schooling children get mere advanced knowledge and begin
to concentrate on their special interests. They usually study further in history, geog-
raphy, the English language and literature. They may choose to study foreign lan-
guages, advanced mathematics or sciences, such as physics or chemistry. Children
who plan to go to college or professional training must take some of these courses
in order to enter college. Other students who do not intend to go on with school
may take classes in accounting or typing or other subjects that will help them in the
business world. Some senior high schools are vocational. Boys may learn to operate
machines or do other work. Girls may learn cooking, sewing or office work. Schools
of all levels of education are coeducational: that is, boys and girls attend classes to-
gether. The schools which teach boys and girls separately, mostly private institutions,
are in minority.
In most places in the United States children must attend school until they are
sixteen, or until they finish high school, usually at the age of seventeen or eighteen.
Some children who are not good students drop out of school at the age of sixteen.
Higher education is given in colleges and universities (either public or private),
that is supported by public funds or privately. The average course is four years. Stu-
dents choose a major subject and take many courses in this subject. After four years
of study students get the degrees of Bachelor. Then the students may go on studying
and with a year or two of further study get a Masters degree. After another year or
two of study and research, they may get a still higher degree of Doctor.
Students are classified as freshmen (first-year students), sophomores (second-year
students), and juniors (third-year students). After having graduated the senior classes
college students continue studying at a university (they are advanced students and
graduate students).
A college prepares the student for two things: either graduate study leading to
Masters or Doctors degree or a job immediately after graduation.

The Commonwealth of Australia (the
official name was given on January 1, 1901)
is situated in the south-west of the Pacific
Ocean. The area of the country is about 8
mln square kilometers. It is the largest is-
land and the smallest continent at the same
time. Sometimes Australia is called The
Land of Wattle, the Lucky Country.
It is also called Down Under because
of its geographical position in the southern
hemisphere. It has got six states: New South
Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western
Australia, Tasmania, South Australia and
two territories: Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory (ACT).
Mountain ranges run from north to south along the east coast, reaching their high-
est point in Mount Kosciusko. The western half of the continent is occupied by a
desert plateau that rises into hills near the west coast. It includes the Great Victoria
Desert to the south and the Great Sandy Desert to the north. The Great Barrier
Reef, extending about 2,000 km, lies along the northeast coast. The island of Tasma-
nia is off the southeastern coast.
There are not many rivers in Australia. Its best-known river is the Murray, the
longest one is the Darling. Australias climate is generally pleasant, without ex-
tremes. Broadly there are two climatic zones: tropical in the north and temperate
below the Tropic of Capricorn. Due to its geographical location Australias seasons
are the opposite of the northern hemisphere summer starts in December, winter in
June. The fact that Australia is the driest continent on earth makes this land a great
all-year destination.
Australia is separated from many countries. The isolation of the continent has
created a sanctuary for flora and fauna. Australia has 20,000 species of plants and
brilliant wildflowers. The continent has 700 species of acacia, which Australians call
wattle, and 1200 species of eucalypti or gum trees. Many of trees lose their bark not
their leaves and a lot of flowers have no smell. The animals in Australia cannot be
found in the wild in other countries of the world. Among the animals are the kanga-
roo, koala, opossum, anteater, platypus. The are many birds in the country you can
see parrots, lyrebird, kookaburra (or laughing jackass) and cockatoos. The emu is the
biggest bird.
Nearly 20 mln people live in Australia (it is the least populated country in the
world). The capital of the country is Canberra. The city became the capital in 1927.
The population of the capital is about 300,000 people. Australias cosmopolitan cit-
ies lie side by side with stunning natural attractions, beautiful harbours, National
Parks and unspoilt beaches. They are Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Dar-
win, Brisbane, Hobart. Sydney, most populous city in Australia (approximately 4,5

mln inhabitants), was established in 1788. The site of the
first British colony in Australia, it was founded by Arthur
Phillip, commodore of the First fleet, as a penal colony.
Australia is an industrial country. It has coal, nickel, zinc,
diamonds, natural gas, iron ore, gold. It is one of the most
important producers of metals and minerals. It exports wool
products, meat, fruit, sugar.
Australia, a federal parliamentary democracy, is an in-
dependent self-governing country and a member of Commonwealth of Nations. The
head of the state is the British sovereign represented by the Governor-General. The
head of the Government is the Australian Parliament, which consists of two chambers
The Senate and the House of Representatives. There are four main political parties
in Australia the Australian Labour Party, the Liberal Party of Australia, the
National Party and the Australian Democratic Party.
Australian population is subdivided into original Australians (known as Aborig-
ines), old Australians and new Australians. The word aborigines means first
inhabitants, their ancestors are believed to have migrated to the Australian continent
from South-east Asia at least 40,000 years ago. Old Australians are people of Ang-
lo-Saxon or Irish descent, born in Australia and speaking English as their native lan-
guage. New Australians are post-war immigrants, the balance coming from more
than 60 countries, particularly Italy and Greece. Australians speak their own brand of
English, developed during years of isolation from other English-speaking countries.

Additional Info:

Australia was once a part of the giant continent Gondwana which broke apart
over one hundred million years ago.
The name Australia comes from Terra Australis - the southern land.
The first Australians arrived in Australia between forty-five to sixty thousand
years ago.
The first recorded European contact with Australia was in March 1606, when
Dutch explorer Willem Janszoon (15711638) charted the west coast of Cape
York Peninsula in Queensland. Later that year, the Spanish explorer Luis Vaez
de Torres sailed through the strait separating Australia and Papua New Guin-
ea. Over the next two centuries, European explorers and traders continued to
chart the coastline of Australia, then known as New Holland. In 1688, William
Dampier became the first British explorer to land on the Australian north west
coast. It was not until 1770 that another Englishman, Captain James Cook,
aboard the Endeavour, extended a scientific voyage to the South Pacific in
order to further chart the east coast of Australia and claim it for the British

Britain decided to use its new outpost as a penal colony. The First Fleet of
11 ships carried about 1500 people half of them convicts. The fleet arrived
in Sydney Harbour on 26 January 1788, and it is on this day every year that
Australia Day is celebrated.
Founded in 1788 as a British convict colony, Australia was a place of ban-
ishment until gold strikes in 1851 opened floodgates of immigration. Inde-
pendence came in 1901, with a constitution adapted in part from that of the
United States.
Australia is the lowest continent in the world, with an average height of just
330km above sea level.
It is the sixth largest country in the world and the only country that also is a
In 1926 West South Wales became the first government in the world to pay
pension to women.
Population density in Australia is usually calculated in km2 per person, not
people per km2.
Residents in Sydney are called Sydneysiders.
Western Australia is the biggest Australian state it is 3,6 times bigger than
Texas, 4,6 times bigger than France and 11 times bigger than the UK.
Melbourne has the second largest Greek population in the world after Ath-
One third of Australias land is desert. Australia has 10 deserts of which the
largest is the Great Victoria Desert covering just under 5% of the country.
The Australian Alps, or Snowy Mountains, as they are also known, receive
more snow than Switzerland.
Tasmania has the cleanest air in the world.
The tropical north of Australia is home to the worlds largest species of croco-
dile, the salt water crocodile.
The Tasmanian devil does exist, and it has the jaw strength of a crocodile.
Australians are all crazy about sport. The most popular participation sports are
aerobics, golf and tennis.

Comprehension Questions:

1. Where is Australia situated?

2. What can you say about Australias landscape?
3. What is Australia washed by?
4. What mineral resources is Australia rich in?
5. Can you name Australian states and territories?
6. What is the highest mountain in Australia?
7. What are the most important rivers?
8. What is unusual about Australias seasons?
9. Why is Australian flora and fauna unique?
10. Why is Australia the least populated country in the world?
11. When did Canberra become the capital?
12. What kind of state is Australia?
13. Who is the head of the state?
14. What are the main political parties in Australia?
15. What parts does the Parliament consist of?
16. How is Australian population subdivided?
17. What is the official language in Australia?
18. What is the official name of the country?
19. Which is the largest city in Australia?
20. Who were the first Europeans to visit Australia?
21. Who are the native people in Australia?
22. Which city was the first European settlement?
23. How do they call residents in Sydney?
24. What is ACT?
25. When did the first Australians arrive in Australia?

Canada is the worlds second largest
country, surpassed only by the Russian Fed-
eration. It has an area of nearly ten million
square kilometers. It is washed by the Pa-
cific Ocean in the west, by the Arctic Ocean
in the north, and by the Atlantic Ocean in
the east. In the south Canada borders on the
Canada has mountains, high plains and
low plains. The Cordillera and Rocky
Mountains run parallel to the Pacific coast.
East of the mountains are high plains .Mount
Logan in the Yukon is Canadas tallest peak.
The low plains lie in the region of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.
Canada is a country of lakes. Besides the Great Lakes there are many other large
ones (In general, there are about two million lakes in Canada, covering about 7,6%
of the Canadian landmass).Canada also has large rivers .The St. Lawrence River is
Canadas most important river, providing a seaway for ships from Great Lakes to the
Atlantic ocean. The longest Canadian river is the Mackenzie, which flows through
the Northwest Territories. Other large watercourses include the Yukon, the Columbia
(parts of which flow through U.S. territory), the Nelson, the Fraser. The most admi-
rable sight which attracts tourists from all over the world is the Niagara Falls.
Canada has several climatic regions. Winter in Canada lasts from 4 to 5 months
with heavy snowfalls. There is much rain in the east and west, but less in the centre.
Canada is very rich in mineral resources. The most important minerals are natural
gas, oil, gold, coal, copper, iron ore nickel, etc. Despite its small population Canada
is a great industrial country and manufacturing is the foremost sector of its economy.
Canada is an important producer of oil, gas, pulp, paper and electricity. There is a
very large hydroelectric station at the Niagara Falls. The main industries are food
and beverages, transport equipment, textiles, clothing and machinery. Agriculture is
also very important for Canadian economy. Canada traditionally exports wheat, oats,
sugar beet, tobacco, potatoes.
The population of Canada is over 30 million people .The capital of Canada is
Ottawa, in the province of Ontario. Canada consists of ten provinces and three ter-
ritories. Each province has its own government. Canadas largest cities are Toronto,
Ontario, Vancouver, Edmonton, Montreal and others. The main ports are Vancou-
ver, Toronto, Hamilton and Halifax. All the main cities are situated in the south of
the country near the U.S.A. border. Canadians are the nation composed of 2 linguistic
and cultural groups French and English, thats why there are two official languages
in the country - English and French. The main part of French Canadians live in Que-
bec, the largest Canadian province.

Canada is a constitutional monarchy and a federal state with a democratic par-
liament. The official head of the state is the Queen of England represented by the
Governor-General. The Parliament of Canada, in Ottawa, consists of the House of
Commons, whose members are elected, and the Senate, whose members are appoint-
ed. The leader of the party that wins the largest number of seats in newly elected
House of Commons is asked to form the Government.

Additional Info:

Canada became a country on July 1, 1867.

Canada gained independence from the UK in 1982.
Population of Ottawa is more than 800.000 people.
Ottawa became the capital in 1858.
The national emblem is a maple leaf (it appeared on the Canadian flag in
Motto From sea to sea.
National anthem O Canada (officially adopted on July 1, 1980).
There is a small native population of Indians and Eskimos who were the first
inhabitants of the American continent.
The origin of the word Canada is from Indian kanata village or com-
The largest city is Toronto. It is home to over 5 mln people. Toronto dwellers
hold more university degrees than other big city in the world.
Ontario, the second largest province, borders four of the five Great Lakes,
Ontario, Erie, Huron and Superior. Lake Michigan is the only Lake that is
exclusively in the United States.
Great Bear Lake is the largest lake in Canada, Great Slave lake is the deepest
Canada has one-tenth of the worlds forests.
According to the United Nations Human Development Index, Canada has
got the highest quality of life in the world making it an ideal place to live and
raise a family.

Comprehension Questions:

1. Where is Canada situated?

2. What is the area of Canada?
3. What is the capital of Canada?
4. When did Ottawa become the capital of the country?
5. What is the origin of the word Canada?
6. What is the population of Canada?
7. What is the emblem of Canada?
8 .What parts does Canada consist of?
9. What can you say about climate in Canada?
10. What are the largest cities in Canada?
11. What are the largest ports in Canada?
12. What mountains are there in Canada?
13. What oceans is Canada washed by?
14. What are the main rivers in Canada?
15. What can you say about the Niagara Falls?
16. What are the main languages spoken in Canada?
17. Who is the official head of the state?
18. What parts does the Parliament consist of?
19. Which part of the Parliament is elected?
20. Who represents the Queen of England in Canada?
21. What do you know about natives in Canada?
22. What kind of state is Canada?
23. What mineral resources is Canada rich in?
24. What countries does Canada border on?
25. What is Canadas landscape like?

New Zealand
New Zealand is an extremely beautiful
country, situated to the south-west of Australia
(1600 km), midway between the Equator and
the South Pole. It comprises two large islands
North Island and South Island and nu-
merous smaller islands, including Stewart Is-
land and the Chatham Islands. The area of
New Zealand is about 270,000 square kilome-
ters. The country has the same size as Japan, or
Great Britain but with a tiny population.
New Zealand is a mountainous country. The
mountains run from south-west to north-east
throughout both the larger islands. The highest
mountain is Mount Cook (12,349 feet). There
are many rivers and lakes in the country. The
chief rivers are the Waikato (the longest river, 435 km length) and the Wairu.
Like other regions separated from the rest of the world for a long period, New
Zealand has developed a distinct flora. About 75% of the native flora is unique, and
it includes some of the worlds oldest plant forms. Among the most notable of New
Zealands unique indigenous species is the kiwi .These birds have very short wings
and cannot fly. Many years ago kiwi were hunted for food. Now kiwi is the symbol of
New Zealand. Small children are often called kiwis. The interesting fact is that there
are no snakes in New Zealand.
The climate in the country is warm and the greatest part of New Zealand is well
watered. The climate is called oceanic, without extremes of heat or cold. The north of
North Island is subtropical but not too hot. The east and north of both islands have a
lot of sunny days but much rain falls on the west coast.
New Zealand is rich in mineral resources coal, gold, sand, clay natural gas, tim-
ber, iron ore. Agriculture is the major employer and generator of wealth in the coun-
try. The manufacturing sector is also growing with hi-technology as a corner stone.
Fishing the rich Pacific Ocean is also increasing economic importance with much of
the catch imported to the Asian market.
The population of New Zealand is over 3.5 million people. There are some big
cities as Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, Nelson. The capital of
the country is Wellington (386,000 people). It is a financial centre too. The city was
founded in 1840. The cities and towns in New Zealand resemble very much those of
England, especially Christchurch. The country is sometimes called Britain of the
The country is divided into 12 local regions and three unitary authorities. English
and Maori are the official languages, although the country is predominantly English-
speaking. New Zealand is a parliamentary democracy. The Parliament consists of

one House only the House of Representatives. The head of
the country is the British sovereign represented by the Gover-
nor-General. The Prime Minister is the head of the government.
The major political parties are the Labour Party, the National
Party, the Party of Socialist Unity.

Additional Info:

New Zealand was the last landmass on earth to be discovered, making it the
youngest country. Since the first people arrived a thousand years ago many
cultures have made New Zealand home.
Polynesian Maori reached New Zealand in about A.D. 800.
New Zealand has two national anthems God Save the Queen and God De-
fend New Zealand.
The first documented European to discover New Zealand was Dutch naviga-
torAbel Tasman, who came here in 1642 in search of the fabled great southern
continent. Over 125 years later, Captain James Cook claimed it for Britain in
1769 and produced a map of the country.
In the international financial markets, New Zealands basic currencyunit, the
New Zealand dollar, is frequently called the kiwi. The dollar coin features a
kiwi bird on one side.
The indigenious Maori name of New Zealand is New Zealand Aoteruoa.
Translated into English it means, New Zealand, the Land of the Long White
New Zealand gained independence from Great Britain In the year 1907. New
Zealand was the first democracy in the West that gave women the right to
Dunedin city boast of housing the countrys oldest university, first newspaper
and first botanical gardens.
Wellington, the southernmost capital in the world is called The Windy
Auckland, the largest city (1,25 mln people), is called The City of Sails,
The Jewel of Pacific.
Less than five per cent of New Zealands inhabitants is human - the rest are
animals. This is one of the highest ratios of animals to humans in the world.
New Zealand, before European arrival, had no predatory animals. Thus, it was
like a heaven for birds many of them flightless.
Bungee jumping was invented in New Zealand.

Comprehension Questions:

1. What parts (islands) does New Zealand consist of?

2. Who are considered to be the aborigines of New Zealand?
3. When did they come to New Zealand?
4. What is the population of the country?
5. What are the main cities of New Zealand?
6. Why is New Zealand called Britain of the Pacific?
7. What is the symbol of the country?
8. Who discovered New Zealand?
9. What is the largest city in New Zealand?
10. What is the capital of the country?
11. When was the capital city founded?
12. What kind of state is New Zealand?
13. Who is the head of the state?
14. What parts does the Parliament consist of?
15. What is the highest mountain in New Zealand?
16. What are the main rivers?
17. What can you say about flora and fauna of New Zealand?
18. What is the climate like in New Zealand?
19. What natural resources is New Zealand rich in?
20. What are the official languages in the country?
21. How do the Maori call New Zealand?


How well do you know britain, united states and canada?

1. How many parts of the country are situated on the island of Great Britain?
2. What river is the capital of Great Britain situated on?
3. Who is officially the head of Great Britain?
4. What are the oldest English universities?
5. What is the London home of the Queen?
6. Where is London Zoo situated?
7. How many parts are there in the United Kingdom?
8. Who was the Leader of the Norman Conquest?
9. What is the full name of the country?
10. What was the first most terrible prison in Great Britain?
11. Who is the architect of the famous St. Pauls Cathedral?
12. What is a double-decker?
13. What are the colours of the British flag?
14. What is the capital of Northern Ireland?
15. Who was born in Stratford-on-Avon?
16. What is the nickname of the British flag?
17. How many children has Queen Elizabeth II got?
18. What colour are taxes in London?
19. What colour are post-boxes in London?
20. Canada has got two official languages. What are they?
21. What is the national symbol of Canada?
22. What is the capital of Canada?
23. How many stripes has the American flag got?
24. Who was the first American President?
25. What holiday is celebrated in the USA on the 4thof July?
26. How many states is the USA composed of?
27. What countries does the USA border on?
28. What oceans wash the USA in the west (in the east)?
29. What American state is situated 50 miles from Russia?
30. Are there any skyscrapers in Washington D.C.?
31. Who discovered America?

The British Isles Quiz

Write whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F).

1. London, Birmingham and Manchester are the biggest cities in the UK. ________
2. Ben Nevis is not the highest mountain in Great Britain. ____________________
3. Cardiff is the capital of Wales. ________________________________________
4. St. Andrew is the patron saint of England. _______________________________
5. The Beatles started their career in Liverpool. _____________________________
6. Oscar Wilde was a famous English writer. _______________________________
7. Cambridge is the oldest university in Great Britain. _______________________
8. There are 3 airports in the London area. ________________________________
9. The population of London is around 3 million people. _____________________
10. Northern Ireland is a part of the Republic of Ireland. ______________________
11. Sherlock Holmes lived at Baker Street in London._________________________
12. William Shakespeare lived in the Elizabethan times. ______________________
13. King Henry VIII had 6 wives. ________________________________________
14. The Conservative and the Labour are two the most
important parties in the UK. _________________________________________
15. Britain has one of the oldest parliaments in the world. _____________________
16. Most Irish names begin with Mac, Mc or O. ____________________________
17. The only state church in Britain is the Anglican Church. ___________________
18. The British Isles are the biggest isles in Europe. __________________________
19. Edinburgh is the biggest city in Scotland. _______________________________
20. The Square Mile is a political centre of London. _________________________
21. The House of Commons has 646 members. _____________________________
22. Trooping the Colour is held to celebrate the Queens birthday. _______________
23. The symbol of Ireland is a daffodil. ____________________________________
24. One of the most famous National Parks in Wales
is Snowdonia. _____________________________________________________
25. The Lords in the House of Lords are elected. ____________________________

The USA Quiz

Circle the correct answer a, b, c or d. Only one answer is correct.

1. Which of these is not a borough of 7. President B. Obama is the leader of:
New York? a) the Conservative Party
a) Queens b) the Democratic Party
b) Manhattan c) the Liberal Party
c) Broadway d) the Republican Party
d) Brooklyn
8. The flag of the United States has:
2. The largest state in the USA is:
a) 12 stripes and 49 stars
a) Texas
b) 13 stripes and 50 stars
b) California
c) Washington c) 12 stripes and 51 stars
d) Alaska d) 13 stripes and 51 stars

3. The national emblem of the USA is: 9. The USA was originally formed
a) the Statue of Liberty by ______ British colonies which an-
b) the bald eagle nounced their separation from Brit-
c) the mountain bluebird ain.
d) the buffalo a) 8 b) 9 c) 13 d) 15

4. The highest court in the US is: 10. The Declaration of Independence

a) the Supreme Court was adopted
b) the Court of Appeals
a) on June 4th, 1776
c) the Federal Court
b) on July 4th, 1776
d) the District Court
c) on June 4th, 1783
5. The seat of both houses of the U.S. d) on July 4th, 1783
Congress is:
a) the White House 11. John F. Kennedy was _______ when
b) the Pentagon he became the president of the USA.
c) the National Mall
d) the Capitol a) 35 b) 44 c) 55 d) 64

6. Which of these is not an American 12. The USA is a federal republic of

car brand? a) 50 states and Alaska
a) Jaguar b) 50 states and Hawaii
b) Ford c) 50 states
c) Hummer
d) 49 states
d) Chrysler

13. Thanksgiving Day is celebrated to 19. Which of these is not the American
commemorate national sport?
a) the discovery of America by Colum- a) baseball
bus b) basketball
b) the victory of the first colonists over c) rugby
the Indians in 1602 d) American football
c) the first harvest of Plymouth colony
in 1621 20. Broadway is famous for
d) the marriage of Captain John Smith a) financial institutions which have their
and Pocahontas offices there
b) a theatre and cinema district
14. The Congress of the USA consists of
c) the headquarters of the United Na-
a) 100 Senators and 435 Representatives
b) 100 Senators and 435 Commons
c) 100 Senators and 435 Electors d) skyscrapers
d) 100 Senators and 50 Governors
21. The Adventures of Huckleberry
15. Which of the following is the Finn was written by
highest peak in the USA? a) M. Twain
a) the Rocky Mountain b) E. Hemingway
b) the Grand Canyon c) E.A.Poe
c) Mount Denali d) F.S. Fitzgerald
d) Mount Rushmore
22. One of these performers is not
16. The longest-serving US President American:
(the only president to be elected a) Madonna
three times) was: b) George Michael
a) G. Washington c) Jon Bon Jovi
b) A. Lincoln d) Franc Sinatra
c) F.D. Roosevelt
d) J.F.Kennedy 23. Washington D.C. is situated on:
a) the Mississippi River
17. Presidential elections in the US are b) the Colorado River
held every
c) the Hudson River
a) 3 years
d) the Potomac River
b) 4 years
c) 5 years
d) 6 years 24. The highest office building in the
USA at the moment is:
18. The term Big Apple refers to a) the Sears Tower in Chicago
a) Los Angeles b) the Empire State Building in New
b) San Francisco York
c) Manhattan c) the Statue of Liberty in New York
d) New York d) the Pentagon in Washington D.C.

25.The Golden Gate Bridge, one of 30. The $1 banknote has the portrait
the worlds most famous suspen of____ on it.
sion bridges, is situated in a) Franklin
a) Los Angeles b) Lincoln
b) Boston c) Jefferson
c) Philadelphia d) Washington
d) San Francisco 31. New York was founded in 1625 by
a) the British
26.The biggest American river is: b) the French
a) the Colorado c) the Dutch
b) the Mississippi d) the Spanish
c) the Missouri
d) the Yukon 32. Which of the following was not
invented in the USA?
27. The oldest American university is: a) Coca Cola
a) Harvard b) jeans
b) Yale c) pizza
c) Princeton d) telephone
d) Columbia
33. Which of the following we cannot
28. We can find Las Vegas in: find in the Washington D.C.
a) California a) the White House
b) Nevada b) the Walk Of Fame
c) New York c) Lincoln Memorial
d) Arizona d) the Capitol Buildings

29. Thats one small step for man. One 34. The annual awards for artistic
giant leap for mankind was said by achievements in music are called:
a) Neil Armstrong a) Emmy Awards
b) Martin Luther King b) Grammy Awards
c) J.F.Kennedy c) Oscar Awards
d) Abraham Lincoln d) Pulitzer Prizes

Australia, Canada and New Zealand Quiz

Complete these sentences using words and phrases in the box below. There 3 extra
words which you do not need to use.

New Zealand, Ottawa, Ayers Rock, Canberra, 1840, The Great Barrier Reef,
Wellington, Sydney, the Lord of the Rings, Aborigines, Queen Elizabeth II, the
Maori, Mount Kosciuszko, Toronto, 1782, Britain and France, the maple leaf,
the Portugese, the British, criminals, Down Under, Quebec, 1788,

1. Australia was first discovered by _____________________________________.

2. The largest minority in New Zealand are _______________________________.
3. A popular name for Australia is ______________________________________ .
4. Canadian English started life when the British loyalists moved north into Canada
in ___________________ near the end of the American War of Independence.
5. Uluru is also known as ________________ and it is the second largest monolith
in Australia.
6. The capital of the Commonwealth of Australia is ________________________.
7. _______________________ is the worlds largest and it lies a short distance off
the north-east coast of Australia.
8. The national symbol of Canada is _______________________.
9. New Zealand is a popular location for the production of television programmes
and films, including ____________________________ .
10. The continent of Australia has been inhibited for over 40,000 years by _______ .
11. __________________________ still officially rules Australia and she is repre-
sented by the Governor-General.

12. New Zealand English started in __________________, with the treaty between
the British and the natives.
13. Canada was formerly owned by ____________________________.

14. ________________ is a country of two large islands and many other smaller
islands in the south-western Pacific Ocean.
15. In the 18th and 19th century Australia was used by the British as a place to send
__________________ because the prisons in Britain were crowded.
16. The capital of Canada is ________________ .
17. ____________________ is a part of Canada where people speak English and
18. The capital of New Zealand is __________________________ not Auckland.
19. The highest mountain in Australia is called ____________________________ .
20. Australian English began in ________________ when the first prisoners were
sent away to Australia as punishment.

American writers
Benjamin Franklin

Born: January 17 [Jan. 6, Old Style], 1706 - Boston, Massachusetts

Died: April 17, 1790 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Franklin ended his formal education at 10, and at 12 he

was apprenticed to his brother, a printer. His first enthusi-
asm was for poetry, but he soon turned to prose. He achieved
much of what was to become his characteristic style from
imitating the writing in Joseph Addison and Richard Steele's
famous periodical The Spectator.
Around 1729 he became the printer of paper currency
for Pennsylvania and other American colonies. In 1729 he
purchased the Pennsylvania Gazette, which would become
generally acknowledged as among the best of the colonial
newspapers, and in 1732 he founded Poor Richard's Alma-
nac, whose proverbs and aphorisms emphasizing prudence,
industry, and honesty would become part of American folklore for many decades there-
after. He became prosperous and devoted much energy to promoting public services in
Philadelphia, including a library, fire department, hospital, and insurance company, as
well as an academy that would later become the University of Pennsylvania. In 1748
he gave up management of his publications to devote himself to science and inventing;
his inventions would include the Franklin stove and bifocal spectacles, and his famous
experiments in electricity led to the invention of the lightning rod.
He served 15 years in the colonial legislature (1736-51). He spent the years 1757-
62 in London representing Pennsylvania in a dispute over taxation of lands held by
the Penn family. In 1764 he was sent back to London, where he helped secure repeal
of the Stamp Act. His initial belief in a unified colonial government under British rule
gradually changed over the issue of taxation. He remained in England until 1775, when
he departed in anticipation of war. Back in Philadelphia he served as a delegate to the
Second Continental Congress, where he helped draft the Declaration of Independence.
In 1776 he traveled to France to seek military and financial aid for the colonies. There
he became a hero to the French people, the personification of the unsophisticated nobility
of the New World. At the close of the Revolutionary War, he was one of the diplomats
chosen to negotiate peace with Britain. As a member of the 1787 Constitutional Conven-
tion, he was instrumental in achieving adoption of the U.S. Constitution. Through the
years he wrote a large number of editorials, articles, pamphlets, and monographs, princi-
pally on political and scientific subjects. His celebrated Autobiography (written 1771-88)
was published posthumously. Franklin is remembered as one of the most extraordinary,
brilliant, and indispensable public servants in the country's history.

Thomas Jefferson

Born: April 2, 1743 - Shadwell, Virginia

Died: July 4, 1826 - Monticello, Virginia

After studies at William and Mary College, Jefferson read law and became a
planter and lawyer; from 1769 he was a member of the Vir-
ginia House of Burgesses.
In 1774 his Summary View of the Rights of British Amer-
ica made him famous as an early advocate of American in-
dependence. A delegate to the Continental Congress, he was
appointed to the committee to draft the Declaration of Inde-
pendence, and became its principal author.
After serving as governor of Virginia (1779-81), he was a
delegate to the Congress (1783-85), where he drafted territori-
al provisions that were included in the Northwest Ordinances.
In 1785 he was appointed U.S. minister to France. In 1790
George Washington appointed him the first U.S. secretary of
state; he resigned in 1793 over conflict with Alexander Hamilton. His wide-ranging
Notes on the State of Virginia (1784) enhanced his already high intellectual reputa-
tion and extended it into the fields of science and general scholarship.
Jefferson became vice president in 1797 under Pres. John Adams, whom he suc-
ceeded in 1801. As president, he oversaw the Louisiana Purchase and authorized the
Lewis and Clark Expedition. He avoided entanglement in the Napoleonic Wars by
signing the Embargo Act. In 1809 he retired to his home, Monticello, to pursue his
many interests in science, philosophy, and architecture. Possibly the most broadly
learned citizen of the entire country, he amassed an impressive library, which would
become the core of the Library of Congress when the latter was burnt in the War of
1812. In 1819 he founded and designed the University of Virginia.
In 1813, after a long estrangement, Jefferson and Adams became reconciled and
began a voluminous correspondence, exchanging views on national issues that il-
luminated much of the founders' philosophies. Their letters were later published in
many editions as The Adams-Jefferson Letters.

Works by Thomas Jefferson:

Notes of the State of Virginia

The Federalist
American Christian Bible
Reports of Cases Determined in the General
Court of Virginia from 1730-1740, 1768-1772

James Madison

Born: March 16, 1751 - Port Conway, Virginia

Died: June 28, 1836 - Montpelier, Virginia

After graduating from the College of New Jersey, Madison

returned to Virginia to begin his political career. He was elect-
ed to the state constitutional convention in 1776 and gained
prominence as an advocate for religious freedom. At the 1787
Constitutional Convention he influenced the planning and rati-
fication of the U.S. Constitution; his active participation and
his careful notes on the debates earned him the title father of
the Constitution. He collaborated with Alexander Hamilton
and John Jay on the influential essays in the Federalist in sup-
port of the document, 29 of which appeared over his pseud-
onym, Publius.
As a member of the new House of Representatives (1789-97), he sponsored the
Bill of Rights and became a leader of the Jeffersonian Republicans. As U.S. secretary
of state (1801-9) under Thomas Jefferson, he helped develop U.S. foreign policy that
led to the Louisiana Purchase. Elected president in 1808, he was occupied by the
trade and shipping embargo problems caused by France and Britain that led to the
War of 1812. His second term as president was marked principally by the war, during
which he reinvigorated the army, and by his approval of the nation's first protective
tariff. In 1817 he retired to his Virginia estate with his wife, Dolley, whose political
acumen he had long prized. He continued to write articles and letters, and he served
10 years as rector of the University of Virginia. His writings were edited in nine vol-
umes in 1900-10.

Works by James Madison:

J. Madison: A Biography in His Own Words

Account of Louisiana
Debates In the Federal Convention of 1787

Mark Twain

Born: Nov. 30, 1835 - Florida, Missouri
Died: April 21, 1910 - Redding, Connecticut

Samuel Clemens grew up in Hannibal, Mo., on the West

Bank of the Mississippi. At 13 he was apprenticed to a local
printer. When his older brother Orion established the Hannibal
Journal, Samuel became a compositor for the paper.
After working for a time as an itinerant printer, he rejoined
Orion in Keokuk, Iowa, until the fall of 1856, when he be-
gan another period of wandering with a commission to write
comic travel letters for the Keokuk Daily Post. Only five let-
ters appeared, for on the way down the Mississippi he signed
on as an apprentice to a steamboat pilot, and for almost four
years he plied the Mississippi, after 1859 as a licensed pilot in
his own right, until the Civil War put an end to steamboat traffic.
In 1861 he joined Orion in a trip to the Nevada Territory and became a writer for
Virginia Citys Territorial Enterprise. There, on Feb. 3, 1863, Mark Twain was born
when he signed a humorous travel account with that pseudonym, a rivermans term
for water two fathoms deep and thus just barely safe for navigation. In 1864 he
left Nevada for California. At a mining camp he heard the story which, retold as The
Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County (1865), would made him famous.
In 1866 he visited Hawaii as a correspondent for the Sacramento Union, publish-
ing letters on his trip and later giving popular lectures. He then set out on a world
tour for Californias largest paper, the Alta California. The letters he wrote over the
next five months for it and for Horace Greeleys New York Tribune caught the public
fancy and, when revised for publication in 1869 as The Innocents Abroad, established
Twain as a popular favorite.
He married in 1870 and moved with his wife to Hartford in 1871. In 1872 he pub-
lished Roughing It, a chronicle of an overland stagecoach journey and of his adven-
tures in the Pacific islands. He collaborated with his neighbor Charles Dudley Warner
on The Gilded Age (1873), a satire on financial and political malfeasance that gave a
name to the expansive post-Civil War era.
He continued to lecture with great success both at home and (in 1872-73) in Eng-
land. In 1876 he published Tom Sawyer, a narrative of youthful escapades. It was
followed in 1880 by A Tramp Abroad, in 1881 by The Prince and The Pauper, and
in 1883 by the autobiographical Life on the Mississippi. His next novel, Huckleberry
Finn (1884), is generally considered his finest and one of the masterpieces of Ameri-
can fiction. In 1889 he published A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthurs Court, in
which a commonsensical Yankee is transported back in time to medieval Britain.
Various unsuccessful financial speculations, including his own publishing firm,
left him bankrupt in the early 1890s, but the returns from Puddnhead Wilson (1894),

Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc (1895), a lecture tour around the world, and
Following the Equator (1897), his account of the tour, made him solvent again. The
Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg was published with other stories and sketches in
In 1903 he and his family settled near Florence, Italy. His wife died six months
later, and he expressed his grief, loneliness, and pessimism about humanity in several
late works, including Letters From The Earth (published 1962) and The Mysterious
Stranger (published 1916).

Works by Mark Twain:

Tom Sawyer (1876)

A Tramp Abroad (1880)
The Prince and The Pauper (1881)
Huckleberry Finn (1884)
Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889)
Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc (1895)
Following the Equator (1897)

Stephenie Meyer

Born: December 24, 1973

Stephenie Meyer, born Morgan, is an American author

best known for her vampire romance series Twilight. The
Twilight novels have gained worldwide recognition and sold
over 100 million copies globally, with translations into 37
different languages.
Meyer was the biggest selling author of both 2008 and
w2009, having sold over 29 million books in 2008 alone,
with Twilight being the best-selling book of the year. Meyer
was ranked #49 on Time magazines list of the 100 Most
Influential People in 2008, and was also included in the
Forbes Celebrity 100 list of the worlds most powerful ce-
lebrities in 2009, entering at #26. Her annual earnings exceeded $50 million. Also in
2010, Forbes ranked her as the #59 most powerful celebrities with annual earnings
$40 million.
Meyer says that the idea for Twilight came to her in a dream on June 2, 2003. The
dream was about a human girl, and a vampire who was in love with her but thirsted
for her blood. In a matter of three months she had transformed her dream into a com-

plete novel, though she claims that she never intended to publish Twilight and was
writing for her own enjoyment. Her sisters response to the book was enthusiastic and
she persuaded Meyer to send the manuscript to literary agencies. Of the 15 letters she
wrote, five went unanswered, nine brought rejections, and only the last was a posi-
tive. Foreign rights to the novel were sold to over 26 countries.
Following the success of Twilight (2005), Meyer expanded the story into a se-
ries with three more books: New Moon (2006), Eclipse (2007), and Breaking Dawn
(2008). The series has sold over 100 million copies worldwide in 37 languages. In
2008, the four books of the series claimed the top four spots on USA Todays year-end
bestseller list, making Meyer the first author to ever achieve this feat as well as being
the bestselling author of the year.
Upon the completion of the fourth entry in the series, Meyer indicated that Break-
ing Dawn would be the final novel to be told from Bella Swans perspective. Mid-
night Sun was to be a companion novel to the series. It would be a retelling of the
events of the novel Twilight, but from the perspective of Edward Cullen (as opposed
to Bella Swan).
Meyer cites many novels as inspiration for the Twilight series, including Jane
Eyre by Charlotte Bront and Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. Each
book in the series was also inspired specifically by a different literary classic: Twi-
light by Jane Austens Pride and Prejudice; New Moon by Shakespeares Romeo and
Juliet; Eclipse by Emily Bronts Wuthering Heights; and Breaking Dawns theme by
Shakespeares The Merchant of Venice and A Midsummer Nights Dream.
Meyer, a Mormon, acknowledges that her faith has influenced her work. In par-
ticular, she says that her characters tend to think more about where they came from,
and where they are going.

Works by Stephenie Meyer:

Twilight (2005),
New Moon (2006),
Eclipse (2007),
Breaking Dawn (2008)

English writers

William Shakespeare

Born: 23 April 1564 - Stratford-upon-Avon

Died: 23 April 1616

William Shakespeare was an English poet and play-

wright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the Eng-
lish language and the worlds pre-eminent dramatist. He
is often called Englands national poet and the Bard of
Avon. His surviving works, including some collabora-
tions, consist of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long
narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have
been translated into every major living language and
are performed more often than those of any other play-
At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway, with
whom he had three children: Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. Between
1585 and 1592, he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and
part owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlains Men, later known
as the Kings Men. He appears to have retired to Stratford around 1613, where he
died three years later.
Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1589 and 1613. His
early plays were mainly comedies and histories, genres he raised to the peak of
sophistication and artistry by the end of the 16th century. He then wrote mainly
tragedies until about 1608, including Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth, considered
some of the finest works in the English language. In his last phase, he wrote tragi-
comedies, also known as romances, and collaborated with other playwrights.
Many of his plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy
during his lifetime. In 1623, two of his former theatrical colleagues published the
First Folio, a collected edition of his dramatic works that included all but two of
the plays now recognized as Shakespeares.
Shakespeares work has made a lasting impression on later theatre and litera-
ture. In particular, he expanded the dramatic potential of characterization, plot,
language, and genre. Until Romeo and Juliet, for example, romance had not been
viewed as a worthy topic for tragedy. In Shakespeares day, English grammar,
spelling and pronunciation were less standardized than they are now, and his use
of language helped shape modern English. Samuel Johnson quoted him more
often than any other author in his A Dictionary of the English Language, the first
serious work of its type.

Shakespeare was a respected poet and playwright in his own day, but his repu-
tation did not rise to its present heights until the 19th century. In the 20th century,
his work was repeatedly adopted and rediscovered by new movements in scholar-
ship and performance. His plays remain highly popular today and are constantly
studied, performed and reinterpreted in diverse cultural and political contexts
throughout the world.

Works by William Shakespeare:

The Tempest,
Romeo and Juliet,
King Lear,
154 sonnets

Charles Dickens

Born: 7 February 1812 - Portsmouth, Hampshire

Died: 9 June 1870

Charles John Huffam Dickens was the most popular

British novelist of the Victorian era, and he remains popu-
lar, responsible for some of English literatures most iconic
Many of his novels, with their recurrent concern for so-
cial reform, first appeared in magazines in serialized form, a
popular format at the time. Unlike other authors who com-
pleted entire novels before serialization, Dickens often cre-
ated the episodes as they were being serialized. The practice
lent his stories a particular rhythm, punctuated by cliffhang-
ers to keep the public looking forward to the next install-
ment. The continuing popularity of his novels and short stories is such that they have
never gone out of print.
His work has been praised for its mastery of prose and unique personalities by
writers such as George Gissing and G. K. Chesterton, though others, such as Henry
James and Virginia Woolf, criticized him for sentimentality and implausibility.
Dickens loved the style of 18th century Gothic romance, although it had already
become a target for parody. One character vividly drawn throughout his novels is
London itself. From the coaching inns on the outskirts of the city to the lower reaches
of the Thames, all aspects of the capital are described over the course of his body of

His writing style is florid and poetic, with a strong comic touch. His satires of Brit-
ish aristocratic snobbery he calls one character the Noble Refrigerator are often
popular. Comparing orphans to stocks and shares, people to tug boats, or dinner-party
guests to furniture are just some of Dickenss acclaimed flights of fancy. Many of his
characters names provide the reader with a hint as to the roles played in advancing
the storyline, such as Mr. Murdstone in the novel David Copperfield, which is clearly
a combination of murder and stony coldness. His literary style is also a mixture of
fantasy and realism.
Dickens is famed for his depiction of the hardships of the working class, his in-
tricate plots, his sense of humor. But he is perhaps most famed for the characters he
created. His novels were heralded early in his career for their ability to capture the
everyday man and thus create characters to whom readers could relate.
Nowadays there are museums and festivals celebrating Dickenss life and works
in many of the towns with which he was associated.
Charles Dickens published over a dozen major novels, a large number of short
stories (including a number of Christmas-themed stories), a handful of plays, and
several non-fiction books. Dickenss novels were initially serialised in weekly and
monthly magazines, then reprinted in standard book formats.

Works by Charles Dickens:

A Christmas Carol,
David Copperfield,
The Adventures of Oliver Twist,
The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby,
The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club,
The Old Curiosity Shop,
Barnaby Rudge,
A Christmas Carol,
Dombey and Son,
Little Dorrit,
Our Mutual Friend.

Scottish Writers
Arthur Conan Doyle

Born: 22 May 1859 - Edinburgh, Scotland

Died: 7 July 1930 (aged71) - Crowborough, East Sussex, England

Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle, DL (22 May 1859

7 July 1930) was a Scottish physician and writer, most noted
for his stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, which
are generally considered a major innovation in the field of
crime fiction, and for the adventures of Professor Challenger.
He was a prolific writer whose other works include science
fiction stories, historical novels, plays and romances, poetry,
and non-fiction.
Arthur Conan Doyle was born one of ten siblings on 22
May 1859 in Edinburgh, Scotland. His father, Charles Alta-
mont Doyle, was of Irish descent, and his mother, born Mary
Foley, was Irish. They were married in 1855.
From 1876 to 1881 he studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, includ-
ing a period working in the town of Aston (now a district of Birmingham) and in
Sheffield. While studying, Conan Doyle also began writing short stories; his first
published story appeared in Chamberss Edinburgh Journal before he was 20. Fol-
lowing his term at university, he was employed as a ships doctor during a voyage to
the West African coast.
Sherlock Holmes, a fictional detective is a brilliant London-based consulting de-
tective, Holmes is famous for his astute logical reasoning, his ability to take almost
any disguise, and his forensic science skills to solve difficult cases. Holmes, who first
appeared in publication in 1887, was featured in four novels and 56 short stories. The
stories cover a period from around 1880 up to 1907, with a final case in 1914. Doyle
said that the character of Holmes was inspired by Dr. Joseph Bell, for whom Doyle
had worked as a clerk at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Like Holmes, Bell was noted
for drawing large conclusions from the smallest observations.

Irish Writers
Oscar Wilde

Born: 16 October 1854 - Dublin, Ireland

Died: 30 November 1900 (aged 46) - Paris, France

Oscar Fingal OFlahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish

writer, poet, and prominent aesthete; who, after writing in
different forms throughout the 1880s, became one of Lon-
dons most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. Today he
is remembered for his epigrams, plays and the tragedy of his
imprisonment and early death.
Wildes parents were successful Dublin intellectuals, and
from an early age he was tutored at home, where he showed
his intelligence, becoming fluent in French and German. He
attended boarding school for six years, and then matriculat-
ed to university at seventeen years of age. Reading Greats,
Wilde proved himself to be an outstanding classicist, first at
Dublin, then at Oxford. His intellectual horizons were broad: he was deeply inter-
ested in the rising philosophy of aestheticism though he also profoundly explored
Roman Catholicism.
After university Wilde moved to London, into fashionable cultural and social cir-
cles. As a spokesman for aestheticism, he tried his hand at various literary activities:
he published a book of poems, lectured America and Canada on the new English Re-
naissance in Art, and returned to London to work prolifically as a journalist for four
years. Known for his biting wit, flamboyant dress, and glittering conversation, Wilde
was one of the best known personalities of his day. At the turn of the 1890s, he re-
fined his ideas about the supremacy of art in a series of dialogues and essays; though
it was his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, which brought him more lasting
recognition. The opportunity to construct aesthetic details precisely, combined with
larger social themes, drew Wilde to writing drama. He wrote Salom in French in
Paris in 1891, but it was refused a licence. Unperturbed, Wilde produced four society
comedies in the early 1890s, which made him one of the most successful playwrights
of late Victorian London.
At the height of his fame and success his masterpiece, The Importance of Being
Earnest, was still on stage in London. After a series of trials, Wilde was imprisoned
for two years, held to hard labour. In prison he wrote De Profundis, a long letter
which discusses his spiritual journey through his trials, forming a dark counterpoint
to his earlier philosophy of pleasure. Upon his release he left immediately for France,
never to return to Ireland or Britain. There he wrote his last work, The Ballad of
Reading Gaol, a long poem commemorating the harsh rhythms of prison life. He died
destitute in Paris at the age of forty-six.

George Bernard Shaw

Born: 26 July 1856 - Dublin, Ireland

Died: 2 November 1950 (aged 94) - Hertfordshire, England

George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright and a

co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although
his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism,
in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces
of journalism, his main talent was for drama, and he wrote
more than 60 plays. Nearly all his writings deal sternly with
prevailing social problems, but have a vein of comedy to
make their stark themes more palatable. Shaw examined
education, marriage, religion, government, health care, and
class privilege.
He was most angered by what he perceived as the exploi-
tation of the working class, and most of his writings censure that abuse. An ardent so-
cialist, Shaw wrote many brochures and speeches for the Fabian Society. He became
an accomplished orator in the furtherance of its causes, which included gaining equal
rights for men and women, alleviating abuses of the working class, rescinding private
ownership of productive land, and promoting healthy lifestyles.
In 1898, Shaw married Charlotte Payne-Townshend, a fellow Fabian, whom he
survived. They settled in Ayot St. Lawrence in a house now called Shaws Corner.
Shaw died there, aged 94, from chronic problems exacerbated by injuries he incurred
by falling.
He is the only person to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize for Literature
(1925) and an Oscar (1938), for his contributions to literature and for his work on the
film Pygmalion (adaption of his play of the same name), respectively. Shaw wanted
to refuse his Nobel Prize outright because he had no desire for public honours, but
accepted it at his wifes behest: she considered it a tribute to Ireland. He did reject
the monetary award, requesting it be used to finance translation of Swedish books to

Welsh Writers

R. S Thomas

Born: March 29, 1913 Cardiff Wales

Died: September 25, 2000 (ages 87)

Ronald Stuart Thomas (published as R. S. Thomas)

was a Welsh poet and Anglican clergyman, noted for his na-
tionalism, spirituality and deep dislike of the anglicisation of
Wales. He was one of the most famous Welsh poets.
R. S. Thomas was born in Cardiff, the only child of
Thomas Hubert and Margaret. He was awarded a bursary
in 1932 to study at the University College of North Wales,
Bangor, where he read Classics. In 1936, having completed his theological training at
St. Michaels College, Llandaff, he was ordained as a priest in the Church in Wales.
The Thomas family lived on a tiny income and lacked the comforts of modern life,
largely by the poets choice.
Thomas poetry achieved a breakthrough with the publication of his fourth book
Song at the Years Turning, in effect a collected edition of his first three volumes,
which was critically very well received and opened with Betjemans famous intro-
duction. His position was also helped by winning the Royal Society of Literatures
Heinemann Award.
He learnt the Welsh language at age 30, too late in life, he said, to be able to write
poetry in it. The 1960s saw him working in a predominantly Welsh speaking commu-
nity and he later wrote two prose works in Welsh, Neb (English: Nobody), an ironic
and revealing autobiography written in the third person, and Blwyddyn yn Lln, (Eng-
lish: A Year in Lln). In 1964 he won the Queens Gold Medal for Poetry.
He retired from the church in 1978, and he and his wife relocated to a tiny, unheat-
ed cottage in one of the most beautiful parts of Wales where, however, the tem-
perature sometimes dipped below freezing. Free from the constraints of the church he
was able to become more political and active in the campaigns that were important to
him. He became a fierce advocate of Welsh nationalism.
In 1996 he was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature. After his death at
age 87, an event celebrating his life and poetry was held in Westminster Abbey with
readings from Heaney, Andrew Motion, Gillian Clarke and John Burnside.
Although he was a clergyman, he wasnt always charitable and was known for
being awkward and taciturn. Some critics have interpreted photographs of him as
indicating he was formidable, bad-tempered, and apparently humorless.

Canadian Writers
George Woodcock

Born: May 8, 1912 - Winnipeg, Manitoba

Died: January 28, 1995

George Woodcock was a Canadian writer of political

biography and history, an anarchist thinker, an essayist and
literary critic. He was also a poet, and published several
volumes of travel writing. He founded in 1959 the journal
Canadian Literature, the first academic journal specifically
dedicated to Canadian writing. He is perhaps best remem-
bered elsewhere for writing Anarchism: A History of Liber-
tarian Ideas and Movements (1962), the first post-War his-
tory of anarchism.
Woodcock was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, but moved
with his parents to England at an early age. Though his fam-
ily was quite poor, Woodcock had the opportunity to go to Oxford University on a
scholarship. He took a job as a clerk at the Great Western Railway and it was there
that he first became interested in anarchism (specifically libertarian socialism). He
was to remain an anarchist for the rest of his life, writing several books on the subject,
including Anarchism, the anthology The Anarchist Reader (1977), and biographies of
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, William Godwin, Oscar Wilde and Peter Kropotkin.
Towards the end of his life, Woodcock became increasingly interested in what
he saw as the plight of Tibetans. He travelled to India, studied Buddhism, became
friends with the Dalai Lama and established the Tibetan Refugee Aid Society. This
exemplify Woodcocks ideal of voluntary cooperation between peoples across na-
tional boundaries.
George and his wife, Inge also established a program to support professional Ca-
nadian writers. The Woodcock Fund, which began in 1989, provides financial as-
sistance to writers in mid-book-project who face an unforeseen financial need that
threatens the completion of their book. The Fund is available to writers of fiction,
creative non-fiction, plays, and poetry.
Woodcock was honoured with several awards, including a Fellowship of the Roy-
al Society of Canada in 1968, the UBC Medal for Popular Biography in 1973 and
1976, and the Molson Prize in 1973. However, he only accepted awards given by his
peers, refusing several awards given by the Canadian state, including the Order of
Canada. The one exception was the award of the Freedom of the City of Vancouver,
which he accepted in 1994.

Stephen Leacock

Born: 30 December 1869- Swanmore, Hampshire, England

Died: 28 March 1944

Stephen Butler Leacock was a Canadian economist,

writer and humorist. At the age of six he moved to Canada
with his family, which settled on a farm in Egypt, Ontario.
Stephen Leacock, always of obvious intelligence, was
sent by his grandfather to the elite private school of Up-
per Canada College in Toronto, also attended by his older
brothers, where he was top of the class and was chosen as
head boy. In 1887, defending his mother and siblings against
his fathers alcoholic abuse, Leacock ordered him from the
family home and he was never seen again. That same year,
seventeen-year-old Leacock started at University College at
the University of Toronto, where he was admitted to the Zeta Psi fraternity, but found
he could not resume the following year as a consequence of financial difficulties.
He left university to go to work teaching an occupation he disliked immense-
ly at Strathroy, Uxbridge and finally in Toronto. As a teacher at Upper Canada Col-
lege, his alma mater, he was able to simultaneously attend classes at the University
of Toronto and, in 1891, earn his degree through part-time studies. It was during this
period that his first writing was published in The Varsity, a campus newspaper.
Early in his career, Leacock turned to fiction, humour, and short reports to supple-
ment (and ultimately exceed) his regular income. His stories, first published in maga-
zines in Canada and the United States and later in novel form, became extremely
popular around the world. It was said in 1911 that more people had heard of Stephen
Leacock than had heard of Canada. Also, between the years 1915 and 1925, Leacock
was the most popular humourist in the English-speaking world.
Two Leacock short stories have been adapted as National Film Board of Canada
animated shorts by Gerald Potterton: My Financial Career and The Awful Fate of
Melpomenus Jones.
Although he wrote learned articles and books related to his field of study, his
political theory is now all but forgotten. Leacock was awarded the Royal Society of
Canadas Lorne Pierce Medal in 1937, nominally for his academic work.

Australian Writers
Paul Jennings

Born: 30 April, 1943 Heston, near London

Paul Jennings is an English-born Australian childrens

book writer. His books mainly feature short stories that lead
the reader through an unusual series of events that end with
a twist.
In 1949 his family emigrated to Australia, where he at-
tended Bentleigh West Primary School. He trained to be a
teacher at Frankston Teachers College, and taught at Frank-
ston State School, Kangaroo Flat State School, the Turana
Youth Training Centre, and the Royal Childrens Hospital
State School in Mount Eliza. He then went to the Lincoln In-
stitute and became a speech pathologist. After that he became a lecturer, and lectured
at Burwood State College and the Warrnambool Institute of Adult Education.
In 1985, Jennings first book of short stories, Unreal! was published, during which
he worked as a teacher, lecturer, speech therapist. In 1989, he made the decision to
devote his full time to writing. His short stories were adapted for Round The Twist,
a childrens television series, in 1989 and 1992. New writers took over for the third
and fourth season, but these new episodes did not match the popular acclaim of the

Works by Paul Jennings:

Unreal! Surprising Stories,

Unbelievable! More Surprising Stories,
Quirky Tails! More Oddbal Stories,
The Naked Ghost, Burp! and Blue Jam,
Undone! More Mad Stories,
Tongue Tied!
How Hedley Hopkins Did A Dare,
Robbed A Grave.

Peter Carey

Born: 7 May 1943 Victoria, Australia

Peter Philip Carey is an Australian novelist and short
story writer. He is one of only two writers, the other being
South African born J. M. Coetzee, to have won the Booker
Prize twice. He won his first in 1988 for Oscar and Lucinda,
and won for the second time in 2001 with True History of
the Kelly Gang. In May 2008 he was also nominated for the
Best of the Booker Prize.
Carey has won the Miles Franklin Award three times. He
is frequently named as Australias next contender for the No-
bel Prize in Literature.
He collaborated on the screenplay of the film Until the
End of the World with Wim Wenders. Currently, he is the executive director of the
Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program at Hunter College, part of the City
University of New York.
Peter Carey began writing on his own in 1964. By 1968, he had written a number
of unpublished manuscripts including novels entitled Contacts, The Futility Machine
and Wog, as well as a short story collection. Several of these manuscripts were ac-
cepted by a publisher, but later rejected.
Carey moved to New York in 1990/1991 with his wife and his son to teach creative
writing at New York University. Carey and Alison Summers have since divorced and
Carey now lives with the British-born publisher Frances Coady.
In 1998, he provoked controversy by declining an invitation to meet Queen Eliza-
beth II after winning the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Jack Maggs, many believ-
ing his response to be motivated by his Australian Republican beliefs, though he cited
family and personal reasons at the time. Carey later said he had asked for the meeting
to be postponed, and indeed the meeting was rescheduled by the Palace.
He has been awarded three honorary degrees and is a Fellow of the Royal Society
of Literature, the Australian Academy of Humanities and the American Academy of
Arts and Sciences.

Works by Peter Carey:

The Unusual Life of Tristan Smith,
My Life as a Fake,
Theft: A Love Story,
Parrot and Oliver in America.

New Zealand Writers
Katherine Mansfield

Born: October 14, 1888 - Wellington, New Zealand

Died: January 9, 1923 (aged 34) - Fontainebleau, France

Kathleen Mansfield Beauchamp Murry was a promi-

nent modernist writer of short fiction who was born and
brought up in colonial New Zealand and wrote under the pen
name of Katherine Mansfield. Mansfield left for Great Brit-
ain in 1908 where she encountered Modernist writers such as
D.H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf with whom she became
close friends. Her stories often focus on moments of disrup-
tion and frequently open rather abruptly. Among her most
well- known stories are The Garden Party, The Daugh-
ters of the Late Colonel, and The Fly. During the First
World War Mansfield contracted extra pulmonary tuberculo-
sis which rendered any return or visit to New Zealand impossible and led to her death
at the age of 34.
Mansfield proved to be a prolific writer in the final years of her life, and much of
her prose and poetry remained unpublished at her death.
Katherine Mansfield is widely considered one of the best short story writers of her
period. A number of her works, including Miss Brill, Prelude, The Garden Par-
ty, The Dolls House, and later works such as The Fly, are frequently collected
in short story anthologies. Mansfield also proved ahead of her time in her adoration
of Russian playwright and short story writer Anton Chekhov, and incorporated some
of his themes and techniques into her writing.
A street in Menton, France, where she lived and wrote, is named after her and a
Fellowship is offered annually to enable a New Zealand writer to work at her former
home, the Villa Isola Bella. New Zealands pre-eminent short story competition is
also named in her honour.

Works by Katherine Mansfield:

Short Stories: The Woman At the Shore,

A Dill Pickle,
A Cup of Tea.

Michael OLeary

Born: 1950 Auckland

Michael O'Leary is a New Zealand publisher, poet, nov-

elist, performer, artist and bookshop proprietor. He publishes
under the imprint Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop, which he
founded in 1984. He now runs a bookshop, Kakariki Books,
from the Paekakariki Railway Station. He also has an on-line
book shop.
Born in Auckland, he was educated at the Universities of
Auckland and Otago. He wrote an MA thesis on the history
of small presses in New Zealand and is the author of Alter-
native Small Press Publishing in New Zealand (2007). He
completed a PhD in Women's Studies at Victoria University
of Wellington on the 'Status of Women Writers in New Zea-
land 1945 to 1970.
His novels and poetry explore his Mori (Te Arawa) Irish Catholic heritage. His
latest novel is Magic Alex's Revenge (2009), the third in the 'The Dreamlander Ex-
press' trilogy comprising Unlevel Crossings (2002) and Straight (1985). His works
include Surrogate Children (poems, 1981), Ten Sonnets (1985), Out of It (satirical
novel, 1987), Before and After (1987), Livin ina Aucklan (1988) and The Irish An-
nals of New Zealand (1991).
Under the Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop imprint he has published work by a
range of writers, both alternative and mainstream, including: Raewyn Alexander,
Colin Lloyd Amery, Sandra Bell, John Pule, Greg O'Brien, David Eggleton, Pat Bel-
laney, Jeanne Bernhardt, Tony Beyer, Ken Bolton, Richard Burns, Karen Peterson
Butterworth, Meg Campbell, Rosalie Carey, Frances Cherry, Jill Chan, John Daub,
Rosalind Derby, Robin Fry, Basim Furat, Brian C. Hare, Heather McPherson, Isa
Moynihan, Peter Olds, Victor O'Leary, Glynn Parker, Alistair Paterson, Mark Pirie,
Vivienne Plumb, Ralph Proops, Gemma Rowsell, Brian E. Turner, Nelson Wattie,
Adam Wiedemann and others.
In 2009, a book of biography and criticism about Michael O'Leary and his publish-
ing house, edited by Mark Pirie, was published, The Earl is in: 25 Years of the Earl
of Seacliff: A to Z (2009). He also has a blog on which he publishes one of his poems
daily, plus he intends to serialize his novels thus when the poems run out O'Leary
has recently returned to his first career, that of an artist. You can find examples on his
Facebook page, accessible from his blogsite.
O'Leary is a trustee for the Poetry Archive of New Zealand Aotearoa, a charitable
trust dedicated to archiving, collecting and promoting New Zealand poetry.
He lives in Paekakariki, Wellington.

Answers to the Quizzes
The British Isles Quiz.

1 False (London, Birmingham and Leeds)

2 False ( yes, it is)
3 True
4 False (St. George)
5 True
6 False (he was Irish)
7 False ( Oxford was founded in 1249, Cambridge in 1284)
8 False ( 5, Heathrow, Luton, Gatwick, Stansted, City Airport)
9 False (around)
10 False ( its a part of the OK)
11 True
12 True
13 True
14 True
15 True
16 False (Irish names begin with O but Scottish names with Mac or MC)
17 False (England and Wales the Anglican Church, Scotland the Presbyterian
18 True
19 False (Glasgow is the biggest)
20 False (not political but financial)
21 True
22 True
23 False ( shamrock)
24 True
25 False (the House of Lords is permanent).

The USA Quiz.

1. C 13. C 24. A
2. D 14. A 25. D
3. B 15. C 26. B
4. A 16. C 27. A
5. D 17. B 28. B
6. A 18. D 29. A
7. B 19. C 30. D
8. B 20. B 31. C
9. C 21. A 32. C
10. B 22. B 33. B
11. B 23. D 34. B
12. C

Australia, Canada and New Zealand Quiz.

1. the Portugese 11. Queen Elizabeth II

2. the Maori 12. 1840
3. Down Under 13. Britain and France
4. 1782 14. New Zealand
5. Ayres Rock 15. criminals
6. Canberra 16. Ottawa
7. The Great Barrier Reef 17. Quebec
8. the maple leaf 18. Wellington
9. The Lord of the Rings 19. Mount Kosciusko
10. the Aborigines 20. 1788

* Unnecessary words: Sydney, Toronto, the British.


The united kingdom of great britain and nothern ireland 4

London 7
Born to be the king 11
Queen elizabeth ii and the british monarchy 13
The Educational System of the UK 16
The United States of America 17
Washington D.C. 20
Famous presidents 22
The Educational System of the USA 25
Australia 26
Canada 30
New Zealand 33
American writers 43
English writers 49
Scottish Writers 52
Irish Writers 53
Welsh Writers 55
Canadian Writers 56
Australian Writers 58
New Zealand Writers 60
Answers to the Quizzes 62