home (adv.)
Rise up betimes, and be not the last; but get thee home without delay.
Ecclesiasticus 32:11
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english language and history .com
two-minute tales and exercises for work in grammar and composition
UK summer time

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.

Judicial Iniquity
Music: Charles Villiers Stanford
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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Six Posts
St Wilfrid and the Angel of Light
Music: George Frideric Handel
St Wilfrid finds comfort during his tussle with the King of Northumbria
Based on an account by Stephen of Ripon
(early 8th century)

AFTER the King of Northumbria, Ecgfrith, expelled Wilfrid from his place as Bishop of York in 678, Wilfrid went to Rome, and brought back with him a letter of support from the Pope. However, the letter only made the King more angry. He had his sheriff, Osfrith, lock Wilfrid in a deep dungeon where little daylight came, ordering for good measure that no lamps be lit there by night.

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A Touch of Silk
Music: John Field
A Dubliner with a roving eye and a gift for melody, John Field challenged some of Europe’s finest pianists to demand more of themselves and their music.
Music by John Field
(1782-1837)

JOHN Field made his Dublin debut as a pianist aged ten, and a year later was whisked off to London and apprenticed to Muzio Clementi, building and demonstrating pianos in Clementi’s showrooms.

Following an accomplished performance of his own Piano Concerto in E flat in the King’s Theatre, London, when just sixteen, a glittering career beckoned.

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Sir Humphry Davy
Music: John Field
A Cornish professor of chemistry with a poetic turn who helped make science a popular fashion.

AS a boy in Penzance, Humphry Davy delighted in legends and poetry, but he also had a knack for machinery, and spent hours in his grandfather’s dispensary fiddling about with chemicals.

“This boy” the surgeon said good-humoredly, “will blow us all into the air”.

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West Auckland, European Champions
Music: Edward Elgar
A team of amateurs gave Europe’s finest a drubbing.

IN 1909, Sir Thomas Lipton, a Scotsman of humble background who had made his fortune in tea, decided to organise a football competition for the best sides in Europe.

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Sir William Sterndale Bennett
two-part story
Music: Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Acclaimed in Germany as a composer on a par with Mendelssohn himself, Bennett sacrificed his life and talents for music in Britain.

WILLIAM Sterndale Bennett wrote ‘The May Queen’ sitting in the bay window of an Eastbourne pub. When the pub was later demolished, Bennett bought the window and erected it in his summerhouse as a place of inspiration. He always felt more comfortable when surrounded by the familiar.

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A Curious Incident
two-part story
Music: Edward Elgar
Sherlock Holmes has been engaged to find a missing thoroughbred, but seems more interested in some lame sheep and an idle dog.
By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
(1859-1930)

“I MUST say that I am rather disappointed in our London consultant,” said Colonel Ross, bluntly, as my friend left the room. “I do not see that we are any further than when he came.”

“At least you have his assurance that your horse will run,” said I.

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AZ Index

See a complete A-Z List of all the stories on this website.

Featured Topic
Tagged ‘Abolition of Slavery’ (14 posts)
page 1
1 A Selfish Liberty
By Frederick Douglass
(1818-1895)
American anti-slavery campaigner Frederick Douglass contrasts two kinds of ‘nationalist’.
2 Douglass in Britain
Frederick Douglass, the American runaway slave turned Abolitionist, spent some of his happiest days in Britain.
3 Douglass’s Debt
By Frederick Douglass
(1818-1895)
British statesmen were among those who inspired the career of one of America’s greatest men, Frederick Douglass.
4 How Britain Abolished Slavery
The Church’s campaigns against slavery were boosted by competition for labour after the Black Death.
5 The Obstinacy of Fowell Buxton
Fatherless teenage tearaway Fowell Buxton was not a promising boy, but the Gurney family changed all that.
6 How Liberating the Slaves also Clothed the Poor
Based on an article by Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)
The closure of slave plantations following the Abolition of Slavery Act in 1833 had a curious side-effect.
page 2
7 David Livingstone
The Scottish missionary and medic believed that slavery could better be eradicated by trade than by force.
8 The Bombardment of Algiers
For two centuries, human traffickers had stolen English men, women and children for the slave-markets of the Arab world.
9 The Case of Jonathan Strong
Granville Sharp and his surgeon brother William rescued a young African man from the streets of London.
10 The Anglo-Zanzibar War
It lasted barely forty minutes, but it brought slavery to an end in the little island territory.
11 Fashionable Freedom
By Thomas Clarkson
(1760-1846)
Josiah Wedgwood’s promotional gift made Abolitionism fashionable.
12 In the Nick of Time
Thomas Lewis was rescued from slavery with only minutes to spare.
page 3
13 The Persistence of Thomas Clarkson
Today, the slave trade is a £150bn global business. Back in the late 18th century, it was making a lot of influential people very rich too, but some in England were determined to stop it.
14 Somersett’s Case
James Somersett’s new Christian family used every available means to keep him from slavery.

Word Play: Opposites

Suggest words or phrases that are opposite in meaning to the words below.

Catch. Believe. Appear.
New Stories
By John Stuart Mill
(1806-1873)
John Stuart Mill reminds us that governments and the courts must never be allowed to criminalise matters of belief or opinion.
By Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)
Charles Dickens sketches for us the shyly ingratiating youth who gets himself in a tangle in the presence of Beauty.
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.
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 ‘Rain’
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
Do you know ‘additional’ (5), and ‘reject contemptuously’ (5)?
Try writing complete sentences using these adjectives in the attributive position.
Decide whether a word is a verb or a noun (or both), and compose example sentences.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.
Do you know ‘warm covering’ (7 letters), and ‘2,240 lb’ (3 letters)?
See if you can guess these words letter-by-letter.
top topics
History (360)
Fiction (78)

letters game

What is the longest word you can make using these letters?

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numbers game

Make the total shown using two or more of the numbers underneath it. You can add, subtract, divide and multiply. Use any number once only.

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