Recently added: A Perfect Combination of Imperfections by Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855)
28 Wednesday, September 28th September 15th english style

On This Day

On 28th September, 1928 : Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin.

Penicillin
An improbable chain of coincidences led to one of the great medical revolutions just when it was most needed.

English

Language & History

Words, music and two-minute tales

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Featured Music

› Walking Tune

Percy Grainger (1882-1961)

Performed by the Bournemouth Sinfonietta, conducted by Kenneth Montgomery.

New Stories
Bite-size tales from history, myth and fiction.
Swept off her Feet
Marianne Dashwood sprains an ankle, but help is at hand.
Jane Austen (1775-1817)
A Perfect Combination of Imperfections
Jane Eyre meets a not very handsome stranger, and likes him all the better for it.
Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855)
The Greeks, the Governor and the Potatoes
John Kapodistrias had an instinct for how a long-oppressed people might think.
Richard Church
The headstrong Irish boy became part of the Greek resistance movement that won independence in 1832.
Huskisson’s Legacy
Charles Dickens explains how cutting tax and regulation on Britain’s global trade made everyone better off.
Charles Dickens (1812-1870)
The Founding of Australia
Within little more than half a century a British penal colony turned into a prosperous, free-trade democracy.
Bear and Forbear
A sympathetic understanding of the trials of other people is essential for getting along.
Samuel Smiles (1812-1904)
St Helen Finds the True Cross (part one)
The mother of the Roman Emperor goes to Jerusalem on a quest close to her heart.
Based on ‘Elene’ by Cynewulf (8th century)
How Liberating the Slaves also Clothed the Poor
The closure of slave plantations following the Abolition of Slavery Act in 1833 had a curious side-effect.
Based on an article by Charles Dickens (1812-1870)
New Puzzles
Quick brainteasers testing vocabulary and arithmetic.
Pied
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Hive
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Triplet No. 16
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.
Once
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Goatherd
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with GOAT and finish with HERD.
Hunt
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Quickword No. 34
Do you know ‘current of cold air’ (7 letters), and ‘e.g. fascinator’ (3 letters)?
Hero
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Lace
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
From the Archives
Some stories you may have missed.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (part one)
Hermia and her lover Lysander elope from Athens, only to become tangled with squabbling fairies in the woods.
Based on the play by William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
British Mandatory Palestine
The British had some difficulty fulfilling all the promises made to their wartime Allies.
Fiddler Tam
An 18th century bon viveur and virtuoso violinist, Thomas Erskine is currently being ‘rediscovered’ by the classical music industry.
Music by Thomas Erskine, Earl of Kellie
Dud Dudley: Iron Man (part one)
The 17th-century entrepreneur developed a way of smelting iron with coke rather than charcoal, but the Civil War frustrated his plans.
The Hetton Railway
The railway earned a special place in history as the first to be designed for steam locomotives only.
The Battle of Ynys Mon
Suetonius Paulinus, Governor of Britain, hoped to enhance his reputation.
Based on an account by Cornelius Tacitus (AD 56-117)
Angel Cat
Cats do have a conscience: it tells them when to look innocent.
Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927)
Character and Learning
Intellectual learning is to be respected, but it should never be confused with good character.
Samuel Smiles (1812-1904)
The Genius Next Door
William Murdoch’s experiments with steam traction impressed his next-door neighbour, with world-changing results.