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.

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
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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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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Observation
Music: Francesco Geminiani
Great inventions come from those who notice what they see.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)

IT is the close observation of little things which is the secret of success in business, in art, in science, and in every pursuit in life.

“Sir,” said Johnson, on one occasion, to a fine gentleman just returned from Italy, “some men will learn more in the Hampstead stage than others in the tour of Europe.”

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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 School of Difficulty
Music: Johann Baptist Cramer
It is not educational institutions and methods that advance science or the arts, but people.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)

MEN who are resolved to find a way for themselves, will always find opportunities enough; and if they do not lie ready to their hand, they will make them.

It is not those who have enjoyed the advantages of colleges, museums, and public galleries, that have accomplished the most for science and art; nor have the greatest mechanics and inventors been trained in mechanics’ institutes.

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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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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

Word Play: Verb or Noun?

Use each of the words below once as a noun and once as a verb:

Abuse. Escape. Award.

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 ‘Alien’
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 ‘conclusive evidence’ (5 letters), and ‘perceptive realisation’ (6 letters)?
Divide one number by another number. See how quickly you can solve the sums.
A word-making game based on the popular TV show.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with CHIP and finish with PUTT.
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

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