Posts tagged Modern History (131)
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Alice Mary Smith
Samuel Smiles
As Good as his Word
Benjamin Disraeli did not make a promising start to his Parliamentary career - but he did start with a promise.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)

AS an orator too, his first appearance in the House of Commons was a failure. Though composed in a grand and ambitious strain, every sentence was hailed with “loud laughter.” But he concluded with a sentence which embodied a prophecy.

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No. 1
2 two-part story
Sir John Blackwood McEwen
Stuart Era
The Darien Scheme
The Parliament of Scotland tried to liberate itself from London’s strangling single market.

IN 1603, King James VI of Scotland became James I of England too, and he and his son Charles I held two crowns and summoned two Parliaments, Westminster and Edinburgh, until 1649 when Westminster had Charles summarily executed.

Two years later, the newly republican English Parliament then passed the first Navigation Act, shutting out Dutch competition in the belief that imports made the country poorer.

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No. 2
2 two-part story
William Byrd and John Dowland
Modern History
The Voyage of ‘Mayflower’
A crackdown on dissent in England’s established Church drove a band of Nottinghamshire townspeople to seek new shores.

AT the Hampton Court Conference in 1604, King James I insisted that the English Church would never adopt the more extreme views of Swiss reformer John Calvin. Some hardliners dubbed ‘Puritans’ were bitterly disappointed, and resolved to leave the country.

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No. 3
Gustav Holst
Modern History
The Power of Balance
George Canning warned the Commons to be very careful about their plans for reform.
By George Canning MP
(1770-1827)

MY lot is cast under the British monarchy. Under that I have lived, — under that I have seen my country flourish, — under that I have seen it enjoy as great a share of prosperity, of happiness, and of glory as I believe any modification of human society to be capable of bestowing.

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No. 4
William Crotch
International Relations
Let Europe’s Peoples Go!
George Canning begged Britain not to help Europe’s Great Powers deny small states their right to independence.
By George Canning MP
(1770-1827)

GENTLEMEN, there is (disguise it how we may) a struggle going on, — in some countries an open, and in some a tacit struggle, between the principles of monarchy and democracy. God be praised, that in that struggle we have not any part to take. God be praised, that we have long ago arrived at all the blessings that are to be derived from that which alone can end such a struggle beneficially, — a compromise and intermixture of those conflicting principles.

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No. 5
Ralph Vaughan Williams
The Great War
Edith Cavell
The experienced nurse could not stop saving lives, even at the cost of her own.

IN 1907 Edith Cavell, a forty-two-year-old nurse and former governess, went to Belgium to help Dr Antoine Depage establish a training school for nurses. Within four years, she had three hospitals and over thirty schools under her care, and had founded a new medical journal.

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No. 6
John Tavener
The Second World War
The Day of ‘No’
On October 28th, 1940, the Kingdom of Greece surprised everyone by refusing to become part of the German war machine.

IN the small hours of October 28th, 1940, the Italian Ambassador to Greece, Emanuele Grazzi, was at the German Embassy in Athens, following a party. As the clock struck four, he presented the Greek Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas with an ultimatum from the Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.

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No. 7
William Byrd
Character and Conduct
‘Thy Necessity is Yet Greater than Mine’
Elizabethan courtier and soldier Sir Philip Sidney shows that a nobleman can also be a gentleman.
By Fulke Greville, Baron Brooke
(1554-1628)

THE weather being misty, their troops fell fatally within shot of their [the Spanish Army’s] muskets, which were laid in ambush within their own trenches. An unfortunate hand out of those trenches brake the bone of Sir Philip’s thigh with a musket-shot. The horse he rode upon, was rather furiously choleric, than bravely proud, and so forced him to forsake the field.

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No. 8
2 two-part story
George Frideric Handel
Christian Customs
Michaelmas
A celebration of St Michael, captain of heaven’s angel host, courteous warrior, and healer.

“THE Michaelmas daisies,” says the old rhyme, “among dead weeds, Bloom for St Michael's valorous deeds.”

Michael’s valorous deeds are described in the Bible. St John tells us that there was war in heaven, and Michael and his angels fought against the devil and his angels, and cast them down.

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No. 9
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. 10
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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
Three fishermen let their tongues run away with them, and were left counting the cost.
Based on an article by Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)
A survivor of the infamous massacre of Chios in 1821 goes to Marseilles, but discovers he has not entirely left the Turks behind.
By Richard Cobden
(1804-1865)
It is not politicians and their policies that create wealth, but the hard work and ingenuity of ordinary people.
A political rival sends Jason on a hopeless errand, to fetch the golden fleece.
Based on a
Byzantine Tradition
The Virgin Mary and her son team up to get the best out of some careless monks.

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Adam Smith (10)
Polyword ‘Flit’
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 ‘plaything’ (3 letters), and ‘a river in South Wales’ (3 letters)?
Change KEEP into MOAT, one letter at a time.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.