Posts tagged Mediaeval History (62)
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Mediaeval History
For November 25th
The White Ship Disaster
The Disaster of the White Ship
The loss of the heir to the throne threw England into crisis.

IN 1120, when William Adelin was sixteen, his father King Henry I took him across the Channel to be married to Matilda of Anjou, daughter of a powerful rival in northern France.

After the wedding, Henry went on ahead, leaving his son to sail home in the White Ship, the newest and fastest vessel in the royal fleet.

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No. 1
Frank Bridge
Anglo-Saxon History
Turning the Tide
King Canute enacted a memorable demonstration of the limits of government power.
By Henry of Huntingdon
(?1088-?1157)

AT the high-point of his reign, King Canute ordered his throne to be set upon the seashore as the tide was coming in, and then addressed the rising waters.

‘You and the land on which my throne is standing are subject to me. No one has ever defied my royal commands and gone unpunished.

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No. 2
2 two-part story
Johann Baptist Cramer and Francesco Geminiani
Mediaeval History
Edward the Exile
Two young English princes were banished to the court of Yaroslav the Wise, and one returned to claim the crown.

IN 1016, the Danish King Cnut the Great took the English crown from Edmund Ironside, son of Ethelred the Unready, at the Battle of Assandun. Edmund’s two infant sons, Edmund and Edward, were banished to Sweden; Cnut’s plan was to have them assassinated, but the boys were smuggled to safety at the court of Stephen I of Hungary.

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No. 3
Johann Christian Bach
Mediaeval History
The Matildas of England
For a hundred years after William the Conqueror came to England, four strong women named Matilda shaped the nation’s history.

AFTER King Harold was killed at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, the victor William, Duke of Normandy, claimed the English crown. But Harold’s council of noblemen, the Witenagemot, refused to recognise William. Instead, they turned to Edgar, a grandson of Edmund Ironside.

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No. 4
2 two-part story
Modest Mussorgsky
Mediaeval History
The Conversion of Vladimir the Great
A succession of religious leaders came to Kiev, hoping to win the wild barbarian Prince to their cause.

PRINCE Vladimir of Kiev was a superb general, but not without his faults. He was given to drink, kept several wives and hundreds of sex slaves, and encouraged the people to sacrifice their sons and daughters to his idol gods. And all this despite having a Christian grandmother, Olga.

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No. 5
Sir Arthur Sullivan
Anglo-Saxon History
The Bishop and the Chatterbox
One week into a Lenten retreat with the Bishop of Hexham, a boy’s miserable life is turned right around.
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)

DURING the Lenten fast, Bishop John and a few monks used to retire to a cottage in woodland across the Tyne, beside a graveyard dedicated to St Michael the Archangel. One year, John persuaded a young lad to stay with them whose head was all scabs and scales and sorry wisps of hair, and who had never been able to speak a word.

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No. 6
2 two-part story
Marie de France and Bernart de Ventadorn
Mediaeval History
Fair Rosamund
Charles Dickens tells the story of King Henry II and the enchantingly beautiful Rosamund Clifford.
By Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)

THERE is a pretty story told of this Reign, called the story of Fair Rosamond. It relates how the King doted on Fair Rosamond, who was the loveliest girl in all the world; and how he had a beautiful Bower built for her in a Park at Woodstock; and how it was erected in a labyrinth, and could only be found by a clue of silk.

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No. 7
2 two-part story
Anonymous and King Richard I, the Lionheart
Mediaeval History
The Lion and the Ant
Richard I thought a veteran Crusader and conqueror of Saladin could handle a few French peasants.

KING Richard I of England gained his nickname of ‘Lionheart’ in the Holy Land, fighting to liberate Jerusalem from the ruling Muslims. In this he narrowly failed, but returned to his estates in France (he rarely spent time in England) in 1194 a hero, having conquered Cyprus, defeated his arch-enemy Saladin in battle, and been expensively ransomed out of the hands of a disgruntled former ally, Leopold of Austria.

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No. 8
2 two-part story
George Frideric Handel
Anglo-Saxon History
The Arts of Fair Rowena
Charles Dickens believed that Britain’s Saxon invaders gained power by force of arms – but not by weapons.
By Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)

THEY sent a letter to Rome entreating help — which they called the Groans of the Britons; and in which they said, ‘The barbarians chase us into the sea, the sea throws us back upon the barbarians, and we have only the hard choice left us of perishing by the sword, or perishing by the waves.’

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No. 9
George Frideric Handel
Bible and Saints
Birds of Paradise
Northumbrian poet Cynewulf paints a word-picture of heaven and the seraph-band that swoops and soars before the throne.
By Cynewulf
(8th century)

WHEREFORE the kindred of the Seraphim, quick to act, strengthened to authority, steadfast in the truth, rise up amidst the angel host in worship; how excellently the tireless throng sings! far and near reaches their voice, sonorous in its slow beauty.

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No. 10
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Polywords (178)
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Latest: Grebe
Added on Monday November 20th, 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
1120 The Disaster of the White Ship
From our Archive
The inhuman cruelty of the Nawab of Bengal’s men brought swift retribution on their master.
By Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji of Nawanagar
(1872-1933)
The great British public leaves a German tourist speechless during a county match at the Oval in London.
Based on the novel by Sir Henry Rider Haggard
(1865-1936)
Allan Quartermain goes in search of a lost tourist and a legendary hoard of diamonds.
By Percy Bysshe Shelley
(1792-1822)
Poet Percy Shelley calls on November’s sister months to watch by the graveside of the dead Year.
Lord Byron could not have hoped for a better omen in his support for the oppressed people of Greece.

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History (387)
Polywords (178)
Georgian Era (102)
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Doublets (34)
Railways (23)
Triplets (23)
Stuart Era (14)
Polyword ‘Icy’
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 ‘pull along behind one’ (3 letters), and ‘self-evident or accepted proposition’ (5 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with TALL and finish with SHIP.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.