English Language and History .com is a collection of two-minute tales drawn from history, myth and fiction. Each tale is accompanied by word games testing grammar and expression, based on textbooks used in British schools from the 1920s to the 1960s.

‘The Overland Mail’
Music: Charles Villiers Stanford
A tribute to the postal workers of British India, and to the kind of empire they helped to build.
By Rudyard Kipling
(1865-1936)

IN the name of the Empress of India, make way,
O Lords of the Jungle wherever you roam,
The woods are astir at the close of the day—
We exiles are waiting for letters from Home—
Let the robber retreat; let the tiger turn tail,
In the name of the Empress the Overland-Mail!

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Six Posts
‘Hail, Liberty!’
Music: Edward Elgar
Kipling borrowed from the Greek Independence movement to give thanks for the end of the Great War.
By Rudyard Kipling
(1865-1936)

WE knew thee of old,
Oh divinely restored,
By the light of thine eyes
And the light of thy Sword.

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The Cat Who Walks by Himself
two-part story
Music: Johann Baptist Cramer
Part One. The sly cat hatches a plan to get all the benefits of domestic life without any of the responsibilities.
Based on a short story by Rudyard Kipling
(1865-1936)

AFTER he was tamed by Woman, Wild Man tamed Wild Cow and Wild Horse with food and shelter, but not Wild Cat. ‘I am the Cat who walks by himself’ he said haughtily, ‘and all places are alike to me’.

And Woman laughed, for though the wild woods were cold and wet, the Cat would not serve.

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Six Honest Serving-Men
Music: Felix Mendelssohn
A professional journalist and author recognises that he has met his match
By Rudyard Kipling
(1865-1936)

I KEEP six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
I send them over land and sea,
I send them east and west;
But after they have worked for me,
I give them all a rest.

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‘If...’
Music: Sir Hubert Parry
A reflection on what builds real character
By Rudyard Kipling
(1865-1936)

IF you can keep your head when all about youAre losing theirs and blaming it on you,If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,But make allowance for their doubting too;If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

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Kipling and ‘Agamemnon’
Music: Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Both Rudyard Kipling and the Royal Navy saw Greek sovereignty as a universal symbol of freedom.

RUDYARD Kipling liked to pretend that he was hopeless at classical languages.

Yet he wrote half-a-dozen stories set in classical antiquity, and as the Great War drew to a close in 1918, sent to the ‘Telegraph’ a translation of the Greek national anthem, ‘Hymn to Liberty’, composed in 1823 as Greece fought for independence from the Turks.

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‘Sussex’
Music: George Butterworth
A meditation on our instinctive love for the place in which we live.
By Rudyard Kipling
(1865-1936)

GOD gave all men all earth to love,But since our hearts are small,Ordained for each one spot should proveBelovèd over all;That, as He watched Creation’s birth,So we, in godlike mood,May of our love create our earthAnd see that it is good.

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All Posts
Tagged Rudyard Kipling (9 posts)
page 1
1 ‘The Overland Mail’
By Rudyard Kipling
(1865-1936)
A tribute to the postal workers of British India, and to the kind of empire they helped to build.
2 ‘Recessional’
By Rudyard Kipling
(1865-1936)
A heartfelt plea for humility at the height of Britain’s Empire.
3 Six Honest Serving-Men
By Rudyard Kipling
(1865-1936)
A professional journalist and author recognises that he has met his match
4 ‘Sussex’
By Rudyard Kipling
(1865-1936)
A meditation on our instinctive love for the place in which we live.
5 Kipling and ‘Agamemnon’
Both Rudyard Kipling and the Royal Navy saw Greek sovereignty as a universal symbol of freedom.
6 ‘Hail, Liberty!’
By Rudyard Kipling
(1865-1936)
Kipling borrowed from the Greek Independence movement to give thanks for the end of the Great War.
page 2
7 ‘If...’
By Rudyard Kipling
(1865-1936)
A reflection on what builds real character
8 The Cat Who Walks by Himself
Based on a short story by Rudyard Kipling
(1865-1936)
Part One. The sly cat hatches a plan to get all the benefits of domestic life without any of the responsibilities.
9 The Man Who Would Be King
Based on the short story by Rudyard Kipling
(1865-1936)
Two rascally former British soldiers in India set off to become kings of Kafiristan.

Word Play: Adjectives

New Stories
The only truly global conflict in history began when German troops crossed into Poland in September 1939.
By Richard Cobden
(1804-1865)
Richard Cobden questioned both the wisdom and the motives of politicians who intervene on foreign soil.
To the poor of England, the Worcestershire man gave affordable pots and pans, and to all the world he gave the industrial revolution.
After Louis XIV’s grandson Philip inherited the throne of Spain, the ‘Sun King’ began to entertain dreams of Europe-wide dominion.
New Puzzles
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Try writing complete sentences using these nouns as either the subject or the object of a verb.
Try writing complete sentences using these verbs in either the active or the passive voice.
Polyword ‘Line’
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.

Note: You can find more Polywords and other games on our Nine Lives puzzle page, and most of our stories are accompanied by games with words, grammar and numbers.

More Puzzles
An arithmetical puzzle based on the popular TV show.
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with FALL and finish with RISE.
Do you know ‘bashful’ (3), and ‘an open area of shrubs and coarse grass’ (5)?
Do you know ‘a brilliant solo passage in a concerto’ (7 letters), and ‘e.g. lion, tiger’ (3,3 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with SHEEP and finish with FLOCK.
See if you can guess these words letter-by-letter.
top topics
History (359)
Fiction (77)

letters game

Make words from two or more of the tiles below. What is the highest-scoring word you can make?

Press enter or type a space to see feedback on your word.

More like this: ‘Scrabble’ letters game Games with Words

numbers game

Work across from the number on the left, applying each arithmetical operation to the previous answer. What’s the final total?

Tip: Click any of the four inner squares to check your running total.

More like this: Maths Steps Mental arithmetic