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.

Mountain of Light
Music: Arvo Pärt
St Bede says that Christ’s Transfiguration should remind us that we live in two worlds at the same time.
By Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)

INTENDING to display his glory to his disciples, he led them to a high mountain, to teach everyone who wishes to see this not to wallow among base pleasures, or serve fleshly enticements, or cling to earthly desires, but to rouse himself towards what is above by the love of things that are eternal.

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Six Posts
The Lessons of History
Music: Sir Hubert Parry
England’s first and greatest historian explains why history is so important.
By Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)

I WARMLY welcome the genuine eagerness with which you not only apply yourself to listen most attentively to the words of Scripture, but also make the effort to acquaint yourself in detail with the sayings and doings of earlier generations, and particularly the famous men of our own nation.

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Caedmon Learns to Sing
two-part story
Music: Byzantine Chant
A shy and unmusical stable-hand suddenly began to sing wise and moving hymns.
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)

THE farmhands on the estates of the monastery at Whitby liked a song in the evening, but whenever the harp looked like coming his way, Caedmon would slip out and go to bed in the stables.

On one such occasion, a man appeared in his dreams and greeted him. ‘Caedmon’ he said, ‘sing to me’.

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Cuthbert and the Mystery Guest
Music: John Garth
A young monk was rewarded for taking his duties as guest-master seriously.
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)

ONE freezing cold winter’s morning, after a night of snow, Cuthbert was surprised to discover a footsore traveller in the guest-house. He bathed the man’s feet, and suggested breakfast, but it seemed his visitor’s home was a long way off, and he was eager to be gone.

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Cuthbert and the Miracle of the Wind
The young monk taught some hard-hearted pagans a lesson they’d never forget.
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)

THE monks of Tynemouth ventured out into the sea in five little boats, so they could pilot some ships, laden with building materials for the monastery, into the river.

At that moment, a sharp wind whipped up, and drove the helpless monks out into the North Sea, like so many seabirds bobbing up and down on the swell.

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St Cuthbert and the Otters
Music: Sir William Sterndale Bennett
An inquisitive monk spied on a guest’s night-time walks.
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)

IT was Cuthbert’s habit to walk alone down to the seashore after dark. Intrigued, one of the monks followed him at a discreet distance, hoping to see what it was that Cuthbert did at dead of night.

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The Alleluia Victory
Music: George Frideric Handel
How hard-pressed Christians on the Welsh border won a battle without bloodshed.
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)

EARLY in the 5th century, Christian villagers on the Welsh borders were being harried by pagan Picts and Saxons. And now, just after Easter in the year 429, the little community learnt that an army was on its way to murder them all.

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All Posts
Tagged Saint Bede of Jarrow (17 posts)
page 1
1 Mountain of Light
By Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
St Bede says that Christ’s Transfiguration should remind us that we live in two worlds at the same time.
2 Passover to Pentecost
By Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
St Bede explains how the Exodus and the Ten Commandments are related to Easter and Whitsuntide.
3 Lost Innocence
By Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
In the fourth century, Britain’s Christians acquired a taste for watering down the mystery of their message.
4 Cuthbert and the Mystery Guest
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
A young monk was rewarded for taking his duties as guest-master seriously.
5 The Kings of Northumbria
Out of a restless alliance between two 6th century kingdoms came a civilisation that defined Englishness.
6 Bread from Heaven
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
Cuthbert trusted that keeping his promised fast would not do him any harm.
page 2
7 The Lessons of History
By Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
England’s first and greatest historian explains why history is so important.
8 St Bede of Wearmouth and Jarrow
The mild-mannered, artistic monk was nevertheless a founding father of the English nation.
9 St Aidan Returns King Penda’s Fire
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
When Penda tried to burn down Bamburgh Castle, St Aidan turned the pagan King’s own weapons against him.
10 King Edwin and the Hand of Destiny
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
Forced from his throne and threatened with murder, Edwin makes a curious bargain for his deliverance.
11 Caedmon Learns to Sing
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
A shy and unmusical stable-hand suddenly began to sing wise and moving hymns.
12 The Martyrdom of St Alban
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
Alban voluntarily swapped places with a priest, and was executed for being a member of a banned religious sect.
page 3
13 The Alleluia Victory
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
How hard-pressed Christians on the Welsh border won a battle without bloodshed.
14 How St Benedict Biscop brought Byzantium to Britain
By Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
The chapel of Bede’s monastery in Sunderland was full of the colours and sounds of the far-off Mediterranean world.
15 Cuthbert and the Miracle of the Wind
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
The young monk taught some hard-hearted pagans a lesson they’d never forget.
16 St Cuthbert and the Otters
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
An inquisitive monk spied on a guest’s night-time walks.
17 St Hild and the Synod of Whitby
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
The respected Abbess oversaw the English Church’s historic commitment to adopt Byzantine traditions.

Word Play: Opposites

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

Progress. Advance. Increase.
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 ‘Destiny’
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 ‘move in a zig-zag fashion’ (4), and ‘a 1711 opera by Handel’ (7)?
Practise your twelve times table against the clock.
Do you know ‘cunning’ (3 letters), and ‘Phobos’s primary’ (4 letters)?
Do you know ‘knock over and scatter’ (7 letters), and ‘a measure of length equal to 45 inches’ (3 letters)?
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.
See if you can guess these words letter-by-letter.
top topics
History (359)
Fiction (77)

letters game

Make words from two or more of the tiles below. What is the highest-scoring word you can make?

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

More like this: ‘Scrabble’ 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