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.

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Grace Darling
two-part story
Music: Charles Villiers Stanford
Mild-mannered Grace Darling persuaded her father to let her help him rescue the survivors of a shipwreck.

IN the early hours of 7th September, 1838, the Forfarshire, a paddlesteamer laden with cotton, broke apart on Big Harcar, a rocky outcrop of the island of Outer Farne.

Distress flags flew and signal guns fired at Bamburgh Castle, but no lifeboat could escape the shore in the raging storm.

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Two Posts
St Aidan Returns King Penda’s Fire
Music: Charles Villiers Stanford
When Penda tried to burn down Bamburgh Castle, St Aidan turned the pagan King’s own weapons against him.
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)

A FORTRESS was raised at Bamburgh by Ida, the first King of the coastal Kingdom of Bernicia, in 548. At that time, it was called Dinguoaroy; it was later named Bebbanburgh after Bebba, wife of Ida’s grandson Æthelfrith.

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Sharp’s Castle
Music: Charles Avison
At Bamburgh, John Sharp organised free healthcare and education, bargain groceries, and the world’s first coastguard service.

BAMBURGH Castle was the property of the Crown until 1610, when its guardians, the Fosters, were granted ownership in recognition of long service. But it was a shadow of its former glory, and to make matters worse, Tom Foster made the two-fold error of getting into debt and backing the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715.

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Featured Topic
Tagged ‘Sport History’ (12 posts)
page 1
1 ‘My English Joy’
By Sir William Sterndale Bennett
(1816-1875)
In 1837 William Sterndale Bennett, then regarded as England’s most exciting young composer, made history in quite another... field.
2 A Many-Chorded Lyre
By Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji of Nawanagar
(1872-1933)
Stylish batting in cricket is about variety, invention and frankly anything that works, and we have Dr W.G. Grace to thank for it.
3 Hooked
By Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji of Nawanagar
(1872-1933)
The great British public leaves a German tourist speechless during a county match at the Oval in London.
4 Arthur MacPherson
MacPherson’s tireless afforts to promote Russian sport earned him a unique Imperial honour, and the enmity of the Communists.
5 The Aspden Cup
British factory workers started a historic three-cornered league in the Russian city of St Petersburg.
6 Rugby League
The less glamorous code of Rugby football, but the best for sheer speed and strength.
page 2
7 Rebel Rugby
The Nazi-collaborating Vichy government in France paid Rugby League the supreme compliment: they banned it.
8 Ranji
A young Indian student from Cambridge was selected for England’s cricket team after public pressure.
9 Max Woosnam
Max fully deserves his reputation as England’s greatest all-round sportsman.
10 How Britain Brought Football to Chile
British expats in Valparaíso kicked off the Chilean passion for soccer.
11 The Ashes of English Cricket
How the cricketing rivalry between England and Australia got its name.
12 West Auckland, European Champions
A team of amateurs gave Europe’s finest a drubbing.

Word Play: Opposites

Suggest words or phrases that are opposite in meaning to the words below.

Whole. Regard. Prove.
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 ‘Hero’
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
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with FAST and finish with SLOW.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.
A word-making game based on the popular board game.
Do you know ‘conclusive evidence’ (5 letters), and ‘perceptive realisation’ (6 letters)?
Do you know ‘satisfied’ (7 letters), and ‘warm and cosy’ (4 letters)?
See if you can guess these words letter-by-letter.
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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.

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numbers game

Work across from the number on the left, applying each arithmetical operation to the previous answer. What’s the final total?

Tip: Click any of the four inner squares to check your running total.

More like this: Maths Steps Mental arithmetic