Posts tagged Victorian Era (62)
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Percy Grainger
Sport History
The Ashes of English Cricket
How the cricketing rivalry between England and Australia got its name.

IN 1882, a cricket team representing Australia defeated England by just seven runs in a match at the Oval in London, the first time Australia had beaten England on home soil.

The Sporting Times mourned the death of English cricket in a tongue-in-cheek Obituary, which ran:

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No. 1
Johann Baptist Cramer
Music and Musicians
Glorious John
JB Cramer was one of the finest pianists of his day, though his reverence for Mozart made his own music more popular in the drawing room than the concert hall.

BY 1784, thirteen-year-old Johann Baptist Cramer was such a naturally gifted pianist that Muzio Clementi, his distinguished teacher, performed a duet with him in public. Four years later, Johann toured Europe, and again in 1799, attracting the notice of both Haydn and Beethoven, who declared him the finest pianist of the day.

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No. 2
2 two-part story
Gustav Holst
Discovery and Invention
Japan’s First Railway
As Japan’s ruling shoguns resist the tide of progress, a Nagasaki-based Scottish entrepreneur steps in.

FOR over two centuries, Japan isolated herself from the rest of the world, a policy vigorously pursued by the Tokugawa shogunate that had sidelined the Emperors. But from 1853, zealous American, Russian and British merchants and their modern wares were grudgingly admitted into selected Japanese ports.

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No. 3
Ethel Smyth
Music and Musicians
The Free-Wheeler
Composer Ethel Smyth buys a new-fangled ladies’ bicycle, and scandalises the neighbours.
By Ethel Smyth
(1858-1944)

IN the Illustrated London News were to be seen pictures of wild women of the usual unprepossessing pioneer type riding about Epping Forest, and I at once decided to buy a bicycle.

Aunts, cousins, and friends were horrified ... never has the word indelicate been bandied about with more righteous conviction. But my mother said this was perfect nonsense.

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No. 4
2 two-part story
Cipriani Potter
Discovery and Invention
Thomas Brassey
The unsung surveyor from Cheshire, who built railways and made friends across the world.

THOMAS Brassey, son of a prosperous Cheshire farmer, began his career in road-building as an apprentice to surveyor William Lawton, on Thomas Telford’s Shrewsbury to Holyhead road. Brassey rose from apprentice to partner, and Lawton and Brassey relocated to Birkenhead to make road-building materials.

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No. 5
Louise Farrenc
Discovery and Invention
A Leader by Example
George Stephenson won the admiration of French navvies by showing them how a Geordie works a shovel.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)

WHEN examining the works of the Orleans and Tours Railway, Mr Stephenson, seeing a large number of excavators filling and wheeling sand in a cutting, at a great waste of time and labour, went up to the men and said he would show them how to fill their barrows in half the time.

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No. 6
2 two-part story
Elias Parish Alvars
Discovery and Invention
The Liverpool and Manchester Railway
Businessmen in Liverpool engaged George Stephenson to build one of his new-fangled railways.

ON May 24th, 1823, Liverpool corn merchant Henry Booth founded the Liverpool and Manchester Railway Company, to build nothing less than the world’s first intercity railway. The canals had created lucrative markets by linking the port at Liverpool to bustling manufacturing towns inland, but were overwhelmed by rising demand.

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No. 7
Charles Villiers Stanford
Liberty and Prosperity
Judicial Iniquity
John Stuart Mill reminds us that governments and the courts must never be allowed to criminalise matters of belief or opinion.
By John Stuart Mill
(1806-1873)

BORN in an age and country abounding in individual greatness, this man [Socrates] has been handed down to us by those who best knew both him and the age, as the most virtuous man in it; while we know him as the head and prototype of all subsequent teachers of virtue, the source equally of the lofty inspiration of Plato and the judicious utilitarianism of Aristotle, the two headsprings of ethical as of all other philosophy.

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No. 8
Johann Baptist Cramer
International Relations
Not the World’s Policeman
Richard Cobden questioned both the wisdom and the motives of politicians who intervene on foreign soil.
By Richard Cobden
(1804-1865)

IF it were the province of Great Britain to administer justice to all the people of the earth — in other words, if God had given us, as a nation, the authority and the power, together with the wisdom and the goodness, sufficient to qualify us to deal forth His vengeance then should we be called upon in this case to rescue the weak from the hands of their spoilers.

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No. 9
Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Music and Musicians
‘My English Joy’
In 1837 William Sterndale Bennett, then regarded as England’s most exciting young composer, made history in quite another... field.
By Sir William Sterndale Bennett
(1816-1875)

WELL, I’m off on Monday. Beginning to pay my visits p.p.c.. Count Reuss is gone away to Kreutz. Called yesterday on Madame von Goethe, dined with Benecke, and played at Cricket with some Englishmen, which made the Germans stare very much, as they never saw the game before — we had English bats and balls.

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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
The King who condemned him to the den of lions felt far worse about it than Daniel did.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)
Railways not only brought fresh, healthy food to the urban poor, they improved the conditions of working animals.
Based on the play by Aristophanes
(c. 445-386 BC)
Two men fed up with Athenian politics decide to build a city in the sky.
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
A shy and unmusical stable-hand suddenly began to sing wise and moving hymns.
The wronged hero vanquishes a dreadful monster with the help of a winged horse, but then it all goes to his head.

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Adam Smith (10)
Polyword ‘Green’
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 FALL and finish with RISE.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.