Two-minute tales from history, myth and fiction, accompanied by word games, grammar games and writing practice, all based on traditional school textbooks.

A to Z Index

Mary Anning
two-part story
Music: Sophia Giustani Dussek
A twelve-year-old girl from Lyme Regis made a historic discovery while selling seashells to tourists.

IN 1811, twelve-year-old Mary Anning pieced together a fossilised skeleton from the limestone cliffs of Lyme Regis in Dorset. It was very different from the usual ammonite and belemnite shells that she and her brother sold to tourists, and it netted them £23, a welcome windfall following the death of their father Richard the previous year.

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Six Posts
A Proper Education
Music: Muzio Clementi
Harriet Smith’s school gave her a grounding in good sense that even Emma Woodhouse could not quite overthrow.
By Jane Austen
(1775-1817)

MRS Goddard was the mistress of a School — not of a seminary, or an establishment, or any thing which professed, in long sentences of refined nonsense, to combine liberal acquirements with elegant morality, upon new principles and new systems — but a real, honest, old-fashioned Boarding-school.

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The ‘Ladies’ Diary’
two-part story
Music: Ann Sheppard Mounsey; William Herschel
A long-lived annual of riddles, rhymes and really hard maths aimed specifically at Georgian Britain’s hidden public of clever women.

THE ‘Ladies’ Diary’, published annually in London from 1704 to 1841, offered an almanack of useful dates, astronomical events, rhyming riddles and readers’ queries, such as

“I should be glad to know, what is the composition of the India rubber; and how and where it is made”.

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The Lessons of Nature
Music: Muzio Clementi
Samuel Smiles shows us two great achievements inspired by two tiny creatures.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)

WHILE Captain (afterwards Sir Samuel) Brown was occupied in studying the construction of bridges, with the view of contriving one of a cheap description to be thrown across the Tweed, near which he lived, he was walking in his garden one dewy autumn morning, when he saw a tiny spider’s net suspended across his path.

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Education of the Heart
Music: Johann Christian Bach
For Jane Austen, the best education a father can give to his child is to befriend her.
By Jane Austen
(1775-1817)

TOO late he became aware how unfavourable to the character of any young people must be the totally opposite treatment which Maria and Julia had been always experiencing at home, where the excessive indulgence and flattery of their aunt had been continually contrasted with his own severity.

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The Ladder with Twenty-Four Rungs
Music: Thomas Erskine, 6th Earl of Kellie
The Duke of Argyll was pleasantly surprised to find one of his gardeners reading a learned book of mathematics - in Latin.

THE Duke of Argyll was puzzled one day to find a copy of Newton’s recently-published ‘Principia’ lying on the grass. He summoned a passing gardener, an eighteen-year-old named Edward Stone, and instructed him to return the wandering book to his library.

Edward, however, replied that it was his own personal copy.

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John Dalton
Music: Jan Ladislav Dussek
At fifteen John Dalton was a village schoolmaster in Kendal; at forty he had published the first scientific theory of atoms.

JOHN Dalton, a weaver’s boy, began his teaching career at fifteen, helping his elder brother to run a Quaker school in Kendal. He deepened his education by contributing maths problems to The Ladies’ Diary, and reading scientific works to Kendal’s distinguished natural philosopher John Gough, who was blind, in exchange for lessons in Latin and Greek.

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All Posts
Tagged Enterprise in Education (9 posts)
page 1
1 Mary Anning
A twelve-year-old girl from Lyme Regis made a historic discovery while selling seashells to tourists.
2 Education of the Heart
By Jane Austen
(1775-1817)
For Jane Austen, the best education a father can give to his child is to befriend her.
3 John Dalton
At fifteen John Dalton was a village schoolmaster in Kendal; at forty he had published the first scientific theory of atoms.
4 The Ladies’ Diary
A long-lived annual of riddles, rhymes and really hard maths aimed specifically at Georgian Britain’s hidden public of clever women.
5 The School of Difficulty
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)
It is not educational institutions and methods that advance science or the arts, but people.
6 A Proper Education
By Jane Austen
(1775-1817)
Harriet Smith’s school gave her a grounding in good sense that even Emma Woodhouse could not quite overthrow.
page 2
7 The Lessons of Nature
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)
Samuel Smiles shows us two great achievements inspired by two tiny creatures.
8 Observation
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)
Great inventions come from those who notice what they see.
9 The Ladder with Twenty-Four Rungs
The Duke of Argyll was pleasantly surprised to find one of his gardeners reading a learned book of mathematics - in Latin.
Authors
Jane Austen (1775-1817)
2 posts
Samuel Smiles (1812-1904)
3 posts
which is ‘English Style’ ?
JB Cramer was one of the finest pianists of his day, though his reverence for Mozart made his own music more popular in the drawing room than the concert hall.
By Percy Bysshe Shelley
(1792-1822)
Poet Percy Bysshe Shelley says that the pinnacle of political achievement is the government not of others, but of ourselves.
By John Keats
(1795-1821)
Poet John Keats speaks of the beauties of Autumn, her colours, her sounds and her rich harvest.
By Percy Bysshe Shelley
(1792-1822)
Poet Percy Shelley calls on November’s sister months to watch by the graveside of the dead Year.
Cut
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.
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.
Polyword ‘Batter’
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 ‘a river, part of the Bristol-London waterway’ (6 letters), and ‘e.g. D minor’ (3 letters)?
Do you know ‘additional’ (5), and ‘reject contemptuously’ (5)?
Change ROCK into SALT, one letter at a time.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.
Do you know ‘conscientious’ (7 letters), and ‘unreturned serve’ (3 letters)?
See if you can guess these words letter-by-letter.
A word-making and word-searching game with a dash of strategy to it.
top topics
History (379)
Fiction (82)

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: High Tiles (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: Target Number (Mental Arithmetic Game) Mental Arithmetic