Posts tagged British Empire (34)
Nos 1 to 10
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1 2 3 4
John Marsh
History of British India
Wellington’s Secret
The future hero of Waterloo dealt with political ambush as comfortably as he dealt with the military kind.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)

SHORTLY after the Battle of Assaye, one morning the Prime Minister of the Court of Hyderabad waited upon him [Sir Arthur] for the purpose of privately ascertaining what territory and what advantages had been reserved for his master in the treaty of peace between the Mahratta princes and the Nizam. To obtain this information the minister offered the general a very large sum — considerably above £100,000.

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No. 1
John Foulds
Character and Conduct
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
The Absent Minded Conquerors
Sir John Seeley urged us to cherish our close ties to India and other nations beyond Europe.
By Sir John Seeley
(1834-1895)

WE seem to have conquered and peopled half the world in a fit of absence of mind. While we were doing it, we did not allow it to affect our imaginations or in any degree to change our ways of thinking; nor have we even now ceased to think of ourselves as simply a race inhabiting an island off the northern coast of the Continent of Europe.

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No. 2
2 two-part story
Ernest Walker
Modern History
King Edward VII (1901-1910) to King George V (1910-1936)
Srinivasa Ramanujan
A maths prodigy from Madras became so wrapped up in his sums that he forgot to pass his examinations.

SUCH was Srinivasa Ramanujan’s passion for numbers that at eleven, two college maths students who lodged with his family in Kumbakonam, near Madras, could no longer satisfy his burning curiosity. At sixteen, he borrowed a book with thousands of problems in Algebra, Trigonometry, Geometry and Calculus, and worked out solutions for them all.

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No. 3
Thomas Linley the Younger
Modern History
King George III (1760-1820)
An Avoidable Tragedy
Adam Smith argued that the Bengal Famine of 1769 would have been much less of a tragedy under a free trade policy.
By Adam Smith
(1723-1790)

IN rice countries, where the crop not only requires a very moist soil, but where, in a certain period of its growing, it must be laid under water, the effects of a drought are much more dismal. Even in such countries, however, the drought is, perhaps, scarce ever so universal as necessarily to occasion a famine, if the government would allow a free trade.

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No. 4
2 two-part story
Francesco Geminiani
Modern History
King George III (1760-1820)
The Great Bengal Famine
The Governor of Bengal accused the East India Company of turning a crisis into a humanitarian catastrophe.

IN 1769, farming in Bengal was already in a weakened state after years of harassment by Maratha raiding parties, burning crops and destroying villages. Then heavy monsoon rains and a subsequent drought caused two rice harvests to fail.

Governor John Cartier could have done little about that. But in 1772, his successor Warren Hastings conducted an inquiry, and concluded that the Company had nonetheless gravely exacerbated the crisis.

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No. 5
Sir Arthur Sullivan
Character and Conduct
King George V (1910-1936)
The Englishman
George Santayana had the chance to observe our national character at the height of Empire.
By George Santayana
(1863-1952)

INSTINCTIVELY the Englishman is no missionary, no conqueror. He prefers the country to the town, and home to foreign parts. He is rather glad and relieved if only natives will remain natives and strangers strangers, and at a comfortable distance from himself. Yet outwardly he is most hospitable and accepts almost anybody for the time being.

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No. 6
2 two-part story
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Modern History
William Hall VC
Canadian sailor William Hall was summoned over to India to help face down the Indian Mutiny.

WILLIAM Hall volunteered for the Royal Navy in 1852, and saw action aboard HMS Rodney in the Crimea, at Inkerman and Sevastopol. Five years later, at the outbreak of the Indian Mutiny, he was in Hong Kong on HMS Shannon when she was urgently summoned to Calcutta, and towed 600 miles up the Ganges to Allahabad.

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No. 7
2 two-part story
Granville Bantock
Modern History
The Siege of Lucknow
During the Indian Mutiny, over a thousand men, women and children were trapped in the Commissioner’s residence at Lucknow.

IN 1857, sepoys in the service of the East India Company joined with Indian princes in the Indian Mutiny, angered by mismanagement and presumption in the Company’s handling of Bengal and of Oudh, a recent addition to the Company’s trophy cabinet.

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No. 8
2 two-part story
Gustav Holst
Discovery and Invention
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
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. 9
Piotr Ilich Tchaikovsky
International Relations
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
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. 10
1 2 3 4
Polywords (185)
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Latest: Grey
Added on Thursday February 15th, 2018
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.

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Today in History
1804 A steam locomotive built by Richard Trevithick makes the first return railway journey
From our Archive
By Sir James Melville
(1535–1617)
Sir James Melville eavesdrops on Queen Elizabeth I’s music practice, and incurs Her Majesty’s displeasure.
By Charlotte Brontë
(1816-1855)
Was it an over-excited imagination, or an answer to prayer?
David’s scheme to steal another man’s wife succeeded, but he could not keep his secret from everyone.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)
Michelangelo had a message for all serious entrepreneurs.
Richard I thought a veteran Crusader and conqueror of Saladin could handle a few French peasants.

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India (14)
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Adam Smith (10)
Polyword ‘Beef’
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 ‘complaint’ (4 letters), and ‘be the right size and shape for a space’ (3 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with FOAL and finish with MARE.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.