ourselves (pron.)
The love of liberty is the love of others; the love of power is the love of ourselves.
William Hazlitt (1778-1830), ‘Political Essays’
Queen’s Official Birthday Parade, 2007. © Jon, Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 2.0.
Welcome
english language and history .com
two-minute tales and exercises for work in grammar and composition
UK summer time

English Language and History .com is a collection of two-minute tales drawn from history, myth and fiction. Each tale is accompanied by word games testing grammar and expression, based on textbooks used in British schools from the 1920s to the 1960s.

The Outbreak of the Second World War
two-part story
Music: Richard Addinsell; Sir William Walton
The only truly global conflict in history began when German troops crossed into Poland in September 1939.

ON September 3rd, 1939, Britain and France declared war on Germany, two days after Berlin had defied an ultimatum and sent troops into Poland. The Soviet Union, in accord with the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, quietly supported Germany.

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Six Posts
Winston Churchill’s Final Journey
Music: George Frideric Handel
The heroic and charismatic statesman’s last journey was replete with echoes of his extraordinary life.

SIR Winston Churchill, appointed Prime Minister in 1940 to lead Britain’s successful war effort against the Nazis, died on January 24, 1965, aged 90.

He was to be buried in Bladon, a village near Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire where Churchill was born in 1874.

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Adam and Eve
two-part story
Music: Charles Villiers Stanford
Adam and Eve are set in a Garden of carefree delight, but the Snake swears they are victims of a cruel deception.

IN the beginning of Days, God spoke and said, ‘Let us make man in our image’. So he formed Adam out of the dust of the earth, and breathed life into him. He crowned Adam with such godlike virtues that he was only a little lower than the angels, and set him in Eden, a Garden of Delight.

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Kanguru!
Music: James Hook
James Cook describes his first sight of a beloved Australian icon.

I SAW myself this morning, a little way from the ship, one of the animals before spoke of; it was of a light mouse colour and the full size of a greyhound, and shaped in every respect like one, with a long tail, which it carried like a greyhound; in short, I should have taken it for a wild dog but for its walking or running, in which it jumped like a hare or deer.

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Not a Scratch!
Music: Igor Stravinsky
Hapless extremists try to wipe out a miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary.

IN 1898, Russian anarchists planted a bomb in the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign in Kursk. It was timed to go off during the evening service for maximum casualties, and designed to destroy the miraculous icon of Mary kept there in a glass case. A shared belief in the icon’s miraculous powers drew peasant and Tsar closer together, which did not suit the anarchists at all.

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Heracles and the Nemean Lion
Music: George Frideric Handel
Sending a hero off to ‘certain death’ never seems to work out...

IT was Hera who sent two snakes to devour Heracles in his cot, but he strangled them with his bare hands.

And it was Hera who induced a fit of madness in Heracles so great, that he slew his wife and six children.

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Heads I Win, Tails You Lose!
(That’s cat-tails, obviously.) And who ever said cats were unpredictable?
By Charles H. Ross
(1835-1897)

ONE broiling hot summer’s day Charles James Fox and the Prince of Wales were lounging up St. James’s street, and Fox laid the Prince a wager that he would see more Cats than his Royal Highness would during their promenade, although the Prince might choose which side of the street he thought fit.

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AZ Index

See a complete A-Z List of all the stories on this website.

Featured Topic
Tagged ‘George Stephenson’ (10 posts)
page 1
1 A Monument to Liberty
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)
Samuel Smiles explains why the London and Birmingham Railway was an achievement superior to the Great Pyramid of Giza.
2 The Rainhill Trials
To prove that steam power was the future of railways, George Stephenson held a truly historic competition.
3 The London and Birmingham Railway
The textile moguls of Manchester and Liverpool engaged the Stephensons to complete their link to the capital.
4 Burning Daylight
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)
George Stephenson argued that his steam engines were solar-powered.
5 The Hetton Railway
The railway earned a special place in history as the first to be designed for steam locomotives only.
6 The Stockton and Darlington Railway
George Stephenson and his son Robert created the world’s first passenger railway.
page 2
7 The Gift of the Gab
There was one form of power that self-taught engineering genius George Stephenson never harnessed.
8 The Bully and the Brakesman
A young George Stephenson takes responsibility for the team spirit at Black Callerton mine.
9 The Geordie Lamp
Based on an account by Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)
The engineer put his own life on the line for the safety of his fellow-workers in the coal industry.
10 The Character of George Stephenson
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)
A self-made man who never forgot his humble beginnings.

Word Play: Confusables

Compose your own sentences to show the difference between these words:

Each. Every. All.

New Stories
The only truly global conflict in history began when German troops crossed into Poland in September 1939.
By Richard Cobden
(1804-1865)
Richard Cobden questioned both the wisdom and the motives of politicians who intervene on foreign soil.
To the poor of England, the Worcestershire man gave affordable pots and pans, and to all the world he gave the industrial revolution.
After Louis XIV’s grandson Philip inherited the throne of Spain, the ‘Sun King’ began to entertain dreams of Europe-wide dominion.
New Puzzles
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Try writing complete sentences using these nouns as either the subject or the object of a verb.
Try writing complete sentences using these verbs in either the active or the passive voice.
Polyword ‘Load’
Make as many words as you can with the letters below. All your words must be at least four letters long, and must also include the highlighted letter. What’s the nine-letter word?

SEE how many words you can make using the letters below. All your words must be at least 4 letters long, and must include the letter (change).

We found commonly used words, plus one 9-letter word. Can you do better?

Use each letter only once. But if there are e.g. two As, you can used them both.

Don’t count proper nouns such as April, Zeus, or Newcastle (pretty much anything that has to be spelled with a capital letter at the start), or acronyms like HMRC.

Don’t just add -S for plurals or third person singular verbs, e.g. CAT → CATS or SPEAK → SPEAKS.

Note: You can find more Polywords and other games on our Nine Lives puzzle page, and most of our stories are accompanied by games with words, grammar and numbers.

More Puzzles
Do you know ‘popular Asian chilled fruit drink’ (7 letters), and ‘bear witness’ (6 letters)?
Change KEEP into MOAT, one letter at a time.
A word-making game based on the popular board game.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.
Do you know ‘additional’ (5), and ‘reject contemptuously’ (5)?
See if you can guess these words letter-by-letter.
top topics
History (359)
Fiction (77)

letters game

What is the longest word you can make using these letters?

Press enter or type a space to see feedback on your word.

More like this: ‘Countdown’ letters game Games with Words

numbers game

Make the total shown using two or more of the numbers underneath it. You can add, subtract, divide and multiply. Use any number once only.

More like this: Maths Gym Mental arithmetic