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How Alfred Burnt the Cakes
A popular tale of scorched cakes and a scolded king.

ALFRED was only twenty-two years old when he came to the throne, and the kingdom was overrun everywhere with the Danes.

At last he had so very few faithful men left him, that he thought it wise to send them away, and take refuge in the Somersetshire marsh country.

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The Golden Age of Carausius
Music: Henry Purcell
A Roman commander facing court martial took refuge in politics, and for ten years London was an imperial capital.

IN 286, Carausius was appointed to command the ‘Britannic Fleet’, patrolling the English Channel to keep Franks and Saxons from raiding Britain’s southern coasts. Rumour had it, however, that he let some raiders through so he could pocket their plunder for himself, and Emperor Maximian summoned him for a court martial.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Gossip. Rumour. Scandal.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Keep. Return. Support.

Use together in one sentence: Quote. Generation. At home.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

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Bede and the Paschal Controversy
Music: George Frideric Handel
The earliest Christians longed to celebrate the resurrection together at Passover, but that was not as easy as it sounds.

CHRIST died and rose again at Passover, the week-long Jewish festival at the first full moon of Spring. Christians had always wanted to celebrate Easter at that time each year, but no astronomer could determine the vernal equinox or full moon with precision.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Already. All ready.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Wait. Keep. Spring.

Use together in one sentence: More. Celebrate. Compete.

More games: Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

Why England’s ‘Revolution’ was Glorious
Music: Henry Purcell
Edmund Burke argues that England’s ‘revolution’ of 1688 worked because we changed the Government, not the Constitution.

IN truth, the circumstances of our revolution (as it is called) and that of France, are just the reverse of each other in almost every particular, and in the whole spirit of the transaction.

With us it was the case of a legal monarch attempting arbitrary power — in France it is the case of an arbitrary monarch, beginning, from whatever cause, to legalize his authority.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Lay. Lie.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Do. Call. Spirit.

Use together in one sentence: Reverse. Accordingly. Might.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

The Battle of Nechtansmere
Music: Scottish Traditional Song
King Ecgfrith of Northumbria dismissed repeated warnings about his imperial ambitions.

WHEN Ecgfrith became King of Northumbria in 670, his realm had never been stronger. The ambitious pagan King Penda of Mercia had fallen at the Battle of the Winwaed in 655, and though Penda’s Christian heir Ethelred rebuffed Ecgfrith’s advance southwards in 679, lands to the north looked promising.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Rebel. Repel.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Advance. Look. Fall.

Use together in one sentence: Firth. Scorn. Add.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

St Bega
Music: Elias Parish Alvars
In Irish princess fled to Cumbria to escape the Vikings, clutching her precious silver bracelet.

IN 853, Dublin came under the control of the great Viking chieftain Olaf the White who, according to the Norse Sagas and the Irish Annals alike, married Irish royalty. Not all Irish princesses, however, yearned for a warrior-husband. Some were Christians, for whom Norse religion was a step back into darkness.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Coast. Shore.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Wear. Say. Mark.

Use together in one sentence: Enlightened. Step. Give.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

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