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Victorian Era (51)
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The Harmonious Blacksmith
Music: George Frideric Handel
Handel called it ‘Air and Variations’, but by Charles Dickens’s day everyone knew it as ‘The Harmonious Blacksmith’.

‘THE Harmonious Blacksmith’ is the popular name for the last movement of Handel’s Suite No. 5 in E major (HWV 430) for harpsichord.

Handel did not give this name to his composition himself, though it is not clear exactly how it came about.

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Russia’s First Railway
Music: Mikhail Glinka
Sixteen-year-old John Wesley Hackworth brought a locomotive over to St Petersburg, and Russia’s railway revolution was ready for the off.

IN 1836, sixteen-year-old John Wesley Hackworth arrived in the Russian capital, St Petersburg, bearing the heavy responsibility of delivering a steam locomotive, built by his father Timothy at Shildon in County Durham, to the Russian Empire’s first railway line.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Destiny. Destination.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Purpose. Father. Track.

Use together in one sentence: Via. Purse. Locomotive.

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

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Guardian of Peace
Music: Charles Villiers Stanford
J. S. Mill argues that free trade has done more to put an end to war than any political union or military alliance.

COMMERCE first taught nations to see with goodwill the wealth and prosperity of one another. Before, the patriot, unless sufficiently advanced in culture to feel the world his country, wished all countries weak, poor, and ill-governed but his own: he now sees in their wealth and progress a direct source of wealth and progress to his own country.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Unless. Except.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Guarantee. Source. Race.

Use together in one sentence: War. Natural. Exaggeration.

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

A Monument to Liberty
Music: Camille Saint-Saens
Samuel Smiles explains why the London and Birmingham Railway was an achievement superior to the Great Pyramid of Giza.

THE Great Pyramid of Egypt was, according to Diodorus Siculus, constructed by 300,000 — according to Herodotus, by 100,000 — men. It required for its execution twenty years, and the labour expended upon it has been estimated as equivalent to lifting 15,733,000,000 of cubic feet of stone one foot high.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: There. Their. They’re.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Estimate. Lift. Concentrate.

Use together in one sentence: Private. Obstruction. Their.

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

The Grievances of the South
Music: Gustav Holst
Victorian MP Richard Cobden believed British politicians supporting the slave-owning American South had been led a merry dance.

THE members from the Southern States, the representatives of the Slave States, were invited by the representatives of the Free States to state candidly and frankly what were the terms they required, in order that they might continue peaceable in the Union; but from beginning to end there is not one syllable said about tariff or taxation.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Can. Could.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: State. Well. Tax.

Use together in one sentence: Such. End. System.

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

Dixie on Thames
Music: Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Victorian MP Richard Cobden offered a startling analogy for the American Civil War.

THEY wanted to consolidate, perpetuate, and extend slavery. But, instead of that, what do they constantly say? ‘Leave us alone; all we want is to be left alone.’

And that is a reason that the Conservative Governments of Europe, and so large a section of the upper middle-class of England, and almost the whole aristocracy, have accepted as a sufficient ground on which to back this insurrection.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Alone. Lonely. Remote.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Reason. Beat. Do.

Use together in one sentence: Constantly. Mouth. If.

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