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.

Passover to Pentecost
Music: George Frideric Handel
St Bede explains how the Exodus and the Ten Commandments are related to Easter and Whitsuntide.
By Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)

THE children of Israel, delivered from slavery in Egypt by the sacrifice of a lamb, set out across the desert towards the Promised Land, and came to Mount Sinai.

There, fifty days after Passover, the Lord descended upon the summit amid the sound of trumpets, and thunderclaps and lightning flashes, and laid down the Ten Commandments.

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Two Posts
The Dove and the Flame
Music: George Frideric Handel
Elfric, Abbot of Eynsham in the reign of Æthelred the Unready, reflects on two appearances of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament.
By
Elfric of Eynsham

WHY did the Holy Ghost come in the form of fire over the Apostles, but over Christ in the likeness of a dove?

Because Christ in his humanity was meek and harmless.

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The Story of Pentecost
two-part story
Music: Sir Hubert Parry
Jesus’s apostles receive the gift of God’s Holy Spirit, and the startling effects quickly draw a crowd.

THE Jewish Feast of Weeks was kept fifty days after Passover, so in Greek the feast was sometimes called Pentecost, from the word for ‘fiftieth’. It was a celebration of the Spring harvest, and Jewish law required everyone to go to Jerusalem for it.

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Featured Topic
Tagged ‘British Empire’ (23 posts)
page 1
1 A Many-Chorded Lyre
By Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji of Nawanagar
(1872-1933)
Stylish batting in cricket is about variety, invention and frankly anything that works, and we have Dr W.G. Grace to thank for it.
2 Hooked
By Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji of Nawanagar
(1872-1933)
The great British public leaves a German tourist speechless during a county match at the Oval in London.
3 Mir Kasim
The East India Company installed Mir Kasim as Nawab of Bengal, only to find that he had a mind of his own.
4 Hyder Ali and Tipu
The British encountered no stouter resistance in India than Mysore’s gifted commmander Hyder Ali and his son, Tipu.
5 Mysore’s Golden Age
The Princely State of Mysore (today in Karnataka) was hailed as an example of good governance to all the world.
6 India’s First Railway
The opening of the Bombay to Thane line was the real beginning of British India.
page 2
7 Britain’s Best Gift to India
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)
Samuel Smiles reminds us that until we brought the railways to India, we had little to boast about as an imperial power.
8 Ranji
A young Indian student from Cambridge was selected for England’s cricket team after public pressure.
9 The Boer Wars
South African settlers of Dutch descent could not escape the march of the British Empire.
10 Wellington’s Secret
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)
The future hero of Waterloo dealt with political ambush as comfortably as he dealt with the military kind.
11 The Battle of Plassey
A year after the infamous ‘Black hole of Calcutta’, Robert Clive was sent to exact retribution.
12 Victoria and the Munshi
Abdul Karim’s rapid rise in Victoria’s household made him enemies.
page 3
13 David Livingstone
The Scottish missionary and medic believed that slavery could better be eradicated by trade than by force.
14 The ‘Black Hole’ of Calcutta
The inhuman cruelty of the Nawab of Bengal’s men brought swift retribution on their master.
15 Courage Under Fire
Robert Clive turned seven hundred frightened recruits into crack troops by sheer force of personality.
16 Cecil Rhodes
The ruthless diamond magnate who donated his fortune to the education and empowerment of Africans.
17 The Siege of Khartoum
General Gordon’s death was a sensation and a scandal in its day.
18 Clive of India
Robert Clive helped to establish a lasting bond between India and Britain, laying the foundations of modern India.
page 4
19 The Massacre at Amritsar
After one of the worst outrages in modern British history, Winston Churchill made sure there was no cover-up.
20 The Indian Mutiny
Army unrest spread throughout northeast India, and brought direct rule from London.
21 The Anglo-Zanzibar War
It lasted barely forty minutes, but it brought slavery to an end in the little island territory.
22 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.
23 The Siege of Arcot
By Thomas Babington Macaulay
(1800-1859)
A young Robert Clive’s extraordinary daring helped to prevent India falling into the hands of the French King.

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 ‘Inlet’
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
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with BEEF and finish with STEW.
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with SEED and finish with GROW.
Do you know ‘knock over and scatter’ (7 letters), and ‘a measure of length equal to 45 inches’ (3 letters)?
A word-making game based on the popular board game.
Do you know ‘cleansing bar’ (4 letters), and ‘Doncaster horse-race’ (2,5 letters)?
See if you can guess these words letter-by-letter.
top topics
History (359)
Fiction (77)

letters game

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

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

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

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.

More like this: Maths Gym Mental arithmetic