Posts tagged Mediaeval History (63)
Nos 1 to 10
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Louise Farrenc
Mediaeval History
The Daring Escape of Richard the Fearless
The ten-year-old got away from a royal castle disguised as a bundle of hay.
Based on a story by Charlotte Yonge
(1823-1901)

AFTER the murder of William Longsword, the powerful Duke of Normandy, King Louis IV of France surprised everyone by turning up at the funeral, and taking the duke’s young son Richard, aged about ten, into his own care, which was little more than an imprisonment.

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No. 1
2 two-part story
Anonymous and John Dowland
Tudor Era
Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603)
The Ridolfi Plot
The Pope and the King of Spain decide that the time has come to rid England of her troublesome Queen, Elizabeth I.

IN 1568, King Philip II of Spain borrowed £400,000 from Genoa to fund his government of the Spanish Netherlands, and help the Governor, Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba, to reinvigorate the Inquisition there.

But as Philip’s ships entered the Channel, French Huguenots came to the aid of their Dutch neighbours and drove the ships to port in England. Elizabeth impounded Philip’s gold for her Treasury, the latest in a series of provocations by the English Queen.

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No. 2
Thomas Morley
Tudor Era
Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603)
Asylum Christi
Samuel Smiles explains how Tudor England was transformed from sleepy backwater to hive of industry.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)

THE religious persecutions of Philip II of Spain and of Charles IX of France shortly supplied England with the population of which she stood in need — active, industrious, intelligent artisans. Philip set up the Inquisition in Flanders, and the Duchess of Parma, writing to Philip II in 1567, informed him that in a few days above 100,000 men had already left the country with their money and goods, and that more were following every day.

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No. 3
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. 4
Johann Christian Bach
Mediaeval History
King William I (1066-1087) to King Stephen (1135-1154)
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.

MATILDA of Flanders was the wife of William, Duke of Normandy, who snatched the English throne from Harold Godwinson at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

William’s third son, Henry I, married another Matilda, the daughter of King Malcolm III of Scotland, who herself was a great-granddaughter of King Edmund ‘Ironside’, who lost the English throne to Cnut in 1016.

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No. 5
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. 6
Sir Arthur Sullivan
Anglo-Saxon History
Anglo-Saxon Britain (410-1066)
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. 7
2 two-part story
Marie de France and Bernart de Ventadorn
Mediaeval History
King Henry II (1154-1189)
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. 8
2 two-part story
Anonymous and King Richard I, the Lionheart
Mediaeval History
King Richard I (1189-1199)
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. 9
2 two-part story
George Frideric Handel
Anglo-Saxon History
Anglo-Saxon Britain (410-1066)
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. 10
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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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From our Archive
Based on an account by Stephen of Ripon
(early 8th century)
St Wilfrid finds comfort during his tussle with the King of Northumbria
By Elfric of Eynsham
(955-1010)
Anglo-Saxon abbot Elfric tentatively likened the new-born Jesus to an egg.
The great-grandson of William the Conqueror, whose knights assassinated Thomas Becket and whose family harried him to an early grave.
Charles took his rights and duties as a King with religious seriousness, but Parliament’s sense of both right and duty was just as strong.
Snaring a wild boar turns out to be much less dangerous than keeping centaurs away from their wine.

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Adam Smith (10)
Polyword ‘Dune’
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 ‘popular Asian chilled fruit drink’ (7 letters), and ‘bear witness’ (6 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with NAIL and finish with SHOE.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.