Posts tagged British Empire (26)
Nos 1 to 10
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1 2 3
2 two-part story
Gustav Holst
Discovery and Invention
Japan’s First Railway
As Japan’s ruling shoguns resist the tide of progress, a Nagasaki-based Scottish entrepreneur steps in.

FOR over two centuries, Japan isolated herself from the rest of the world, a policy vigorously pursued by the Tokugawa shogunate that had sidelined the Emperors. But from 1853, zealous American, Russian and British merchants and their modern wares were grudgingly admitted into selected Japanese ports.

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No. 1
Ethel Smyth
International Relations
The Din of Diplomacy
William Gladstone warns voters not to leave foreign policy in the hands of interventionist politicians.
By William Ewart Gladstone
(1808-1898)

THERE was a saying of an ancient Greek orator, who, unfortunately, very much undervalued what we generally call the better portion of the community — namely, women; he made a very disrespectful observation, which I am going to quote, not for the purpose of concurring with it, but for the purpose of an illustration. Pericles, the great Athenian statesman, said with regard to women, Their greatest merit was to be never heard of.

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No. 2
Piotr Ilich Tchaikovsky
International Relations
An Exceptional Nation
William Gladstone explains that a truly ‘exceptional nation’ respects the equality and rights of all nations.
By William Ewart Gladstone
(1808-1898)

YOU may sympathize with one nation more than another. You sympathize most with those nations, as a rule, with which you have the closest connection in language, in blood, and in religion, or whose circumstances at the time seem to give the strongest claim to sympathy. But in point of right all are equal.

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No. 3
Malcolm Arnold
Sport History
Hooked
The great British public leaves a German tourist speechless during a county match at the Oval in London.
By Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji of Nawanagar
(1872-1933)

“TO begin with, I was much astounded at the enormous seating area of the ground, and at the huge crowd that was assembled to watch eleven men from Nottingham play at bat and ball against eleven men of Surrey.”

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No. 4
Jan Ladislav Dussek
Sport History
A Many-Chorded Lyre
Stylish batting in cricket is about variety, invention and frankly anything that works, and we have Dr W.G. Grace to thank for it.
By Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji of Nawanagar
(1872-1933)

“BEFORE W. G. batsmen were of two kinds, — a batsman played a forward game or he played a back game. Each player, too, seems to have made a specialty of some particular stroke. The criterion of style was, as it were, a certain mixed method of play. It was bad cricket to hit a straight ball; as for pulling a slow long-hop, it was regarded as immoral.

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No. 5
2 two-part story
William Herschel
Modern History
Mir Kasim
The East India Company installed Mir Kasim as Nawab of Bengal, only to find that he had a mind of his own.

AFTER the Battle of Plassey in 1757, the East India Company rewarded Mir Jafar for his betrayal of Siraj-ud-Daulah by creating him Nawab of Bengal in Siraj’s place.* Jafar, however, failed to fulfil his promises of large payments from his Treasury once in power, and when his son-in-law Kasim offered to do better, the Company gave him Jafar’s throne.

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No. 6
2 two-part story
Johann Christian Bach
Modern History
Hyder Ali and Tipu
The British encountered no stouter resistance in India than Mysore’s gifted commmander Hyder Ali and his son, Tipu.

IN 1778, King Louis XVI of France declared war on Britain, and London responded by driving the colonial French out of the port of Mahé in Mysore, a kingdom in southwest India dating back to the turn of the fifteenth century.

This trespass incensed Hyder Ali, Mysore’s brilliant military commander whose hero status had already relegated King Krishnaraja Wodeyar II to a mere figurehead.

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No. 7
2 two-part story
Nikolai Medtner
Modern History
Mysore’s Golden Age
The Princely State of Mysore (today in Karnataka) was hailed as an example of good governance to all the world.

KRISHNARAJA Wodeyar IV inherited the throne of Mysore in 1894, though his mother acted as regent until 1902. The Kingdom had a recent history of good governance, owing much to chief administrator Purniah from 1799 to 1812, and British Commissioner Sir Mark Cubbon from 1843 to 1861. A democratic legislature had been introduced in 1881.

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No. 8
Frank Bridge
Discovery and Invention
Britain’s Best Gift to India
Samuel Smiles reminds us that until we brought the railways to India, we had little to boast about as an imperial power.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)

WHEN Edmund Burke, in 1783, arraigned the British Government for their neglect of India, he said: “England has built no bridges, made no high roads, cut no navigations, dug out no reservoirs... Were we to be driven out of India this day, nothing would remain to tell that it had been possessed, during the inglorious period of our dominion, by anything better than the ourang-outang or the tiger.” But that reproach no longer exists.

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No. 9
Sir George Macfarren
Discovery and Invention
India’s First Railway
The opening of the Bombay to Thane line was the real beginning of British India.

AT 3.30pm on April 16th, 1853, as the band played ‘God Save the Queen’, fourteen railway carriages carrying four hundred VIPs jolted, and left Bombay for Thane. It was the opening day of the Great Indian Peninsular Railway, India’s first passenger-carrying line, and ahead were twenty-one miles of 5'6" track, which the triple-headed train gobbled up in forty-five minutes.

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No. 10
1 2 3
Polywords (182)
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Latest: Path
Added on Monday December 11th, 2017
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.
Today in History
1931 Alan Blumlein files the world’s first patent for stereo
From our Archive
By Anthony Trollope
(1815-1882)
There comes a point in some relationships when words just aren’t enough.
John Goodricke’s observations of Algol won him the Copley Medal while still in his teens, despite his disability.
Based on a story by Charlotte Yonge
(1823-1901)
The ten-year-old got away from a royal castle disguised as a bundle of hay.
Mothering Sunday is a peculiarly British celebration of Christian faith, close family and responsible freedom.
By Thomas Hood
(1799-1845)
A poem of nostalgia tinged with regret.

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Adam Smith (10)
Polyword ‘Trail’
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 ‘withdraw’ (7 letters), and ‘domesticated’ (4 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with DOOR and finish with STEP.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.