All Posts (676)
Nos 21 to 30
1 2 3 4 5 68
Thomas Linley the Younger
Modern History
King George III (1760-1820)
An Avoidable Tragedy
Adam Smith argued that the Bengal Famine of 1769 would have been much less of a tragedy under a free trade policy.
By Adam Smith
(1723-1790)

IN rice countries, where the crop not only requires a very moist soil, but where, in a certain period of its growing, it must be laid under water, the effects of a drought are much more dismal. Even in such countries, however, the drought is, perhaps, scarce ever so universal as necessarily to occasion a famine, if the government would allow a free trade.

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No. 21
2 two-part story
Francesco Geminiani
Modern History
King George III (1760-1820)
The Great Bengal Famine
The Governor of Bengal accused the East India Company of turning a crisis into a humanitarian catastrophe.

IN 1769, farming in Bengal was already in a weakened state after years of harassment by Maratha raiding parties, burning crops and destroying villages. Then heavy monsoon rains and a subsequent drought caused two rice harvests to fail.

Governor John Cartier could have done little about that. But in 1772, his successor Warren Hastings conducted an inquiry, and concluded that the Company had nonetheless gravely exacerbated the crisis.

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No. 22
Sir Arthur Sullivan
Character and Conduct
King George V (1910-1936)
The Englishman
George Santayana had the chance to observe our national character at the height of Empire.
By George Santayana
(1863-1952)

INSTINCTIVELY the Englishman is no missionary, no conqueror. He prefers the country to the town, and home to foreign parts. He is rather glad and relieved if only natives will remain natives and strangers strangers, and at a comfortable distance from himself. Yet outwardly he is most hospitable and accepts almost anybody for the time being.

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No. 23
John Field
Lives of the Saints
The Christmas Egg
Anglo-Saxon abbot Elfric tentatively likened the new-born Jesus to an egg.
By Elfric of Eynsham
(955-1010)

THE Word begotten without beginning of the Almighty Father was always God from God, Wisdom of the wise Father. He is not made, because he is God and not a creature; for the Almighty Father created all creatures through that Wisdom, and quickened them through the Holy Spirit.

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No. 24
2 two-part story
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Modern History
William Hall VC
Canadian sailor William Hall was summoned over to India to help face down the Indian Mutiny.

WILLIAM Hall volunteered for the Royal Navy in 1852, and saw action aboard HMS Rodney in the Crimea, at Inkerman and Sevastopol. Five years later, at the outbreak of the Indian Mutiny, he was in Hong Kong on HMS Shannon when she was urgently summoned to Calcutta, and towed 600 miles up the Ganges to Allahabad.

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No. 25
2 two-part story
Granville Bantock
Modern History
The Siege of Lucknow
During the Indian Mutiny, over a thousand men, women and children were trapped in the Commissioner’s residence at Lucknow.

IN 1857, sepoys in the service of the East India Company joined with Indian princes in the Indian Mutiny, angered by mismanagement and presumption in the Company’s handling of Bengal and of Oudh, a recent addition to the Company’s trophy cabinet.

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No. 26
2 two-part story
Jean-Baptiste Lully and Henry Purcell
Stuart Era
James II (1685-1689) to King William III (1694-1702)
The Nine Years’ War
King Louis XIV of France raised rebellion in Ireland to put his own man on the English throne.

IN 1688, envoys from England came to William, Stadtholder of the Dutch Republic, inviting him and his wife Mary to become King and Queen of England in place of Mary’s disgraced father, James II, who had fled to France. At once, William saw a chance to add England’s navy to his own and turn the tables on French King Louis XIV, a growing menace to small states along the French border as far as Italy and Spain.

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No. 27
Sir John Blackwood McEwen
Extracts from Literature
King George V (1910-1936)
Taken for a Ride
Richard Hannay sees for himself how political activists trick decent people into supporting their quest for power.
By John Buchan
(1875-1940)

“TELL me, Dick, what do you think of her?”

“I thought she was about two parts mad, but the third part was uncommon like inspiration.”

“That’s about right,” he said. “She runs the prophet just because she shares his belief. Only what in him is sane and fine, in her is mad and horrible.”

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No. 28
2 two-part story
Sir John Blackwood McEwen
Stuart Era
James II (1685-1689) to Queen Mary II and King William III (1689-1694)
The Darien Scheme
The Parliament of Scotland tried to liberate itself from London’s strangling single market.

IN 1603, King James VI of Scotland became James I of England too, and he and his son Charles I held two crowns and summoned two Parliaments, Westminster and Edinburgh, until 1649 when Westminster had Charles summarily executed.

Two years later, the newly republican English Parliament then passed the first Navigation Act, shutting out Dutch competition in the belief that imports made the country poorer.

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No. 29
Anonymous (English)
Christmastide
Anglo-Saxon Britain (410-1066)
His Bright Nativity
Northumbrian poet Cynewulf wonders at the mystery of the Bethlehem manger, where all the light of heaven was shining.
By Cynewulf
(8th century)

O EÄRENDEL! Brightest messenger sent to men of middle-earth, radiance of the Sun, steadfast and true, outshining the stars, ceaselessly lighting from thyself the ebb and flow of all things!

Shine thy bright Sun upon us, come thyself and light us, who have sat in darkness, in gloom of endless night, these long years, wrapped in sin, enduring the dark shadow of death.

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No. 30
Polywords (185)
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Latest: Grey
Added on Thursday February 15th, 2018
Doublets (34)
Turn one word into another, changing just one letter each time.
Latest: Stardust
Quickwords (46)
A mini-crossword of everyday vocabulary and general knowledge.
Triplets (23)
Find one common letter that will turn three words into three new ones.
Latest: Triplet No. 23
Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
See how ingenious you can be in combining three randomly chosen words in one sentence.
Compose sentences showing the difference in meaning, grammar or usage between these words.
Practise your basic arithmetic, from multiplation tables to percentages.
Latest: Target Number
Take command of English grammar and composition with these traditional exercises.
Latest: Letters Game
A word search game with a dash of strategy.

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From our Archive
A Japanese swordsman confronts a Russian monk for... actually, he’s not really quite sure.
Baird’s inventions didn’t always work as well as his televisions.
By Charlotte Yonge
(1823-1901)
A story about William the Conqueror’s father, Robert the Magnificent.
Rascally republican Thomas Blood was usually to be found in any conspiracy against the King, but even when he stole the Crown Jewels the King never seemed to mind...
By Robert Louis Stevenson
(1850-1894)
An enduringly popular, bitter-sweet poem by the author of ‘Treasure Island’.

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Adam Smith (10)
Polyword ‘Dene’
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.

More Word Games
A word search game with a dash of strategy.
Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
Do you know ‘wallow in resentment’ (4 letters), and ‘English composer’ (4 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with FELL and finish with PONY.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.