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.

Latest
For Valour
Music: Edward Elgar
The Victoria Cross is the highest award made to our Armed Forces.

ON January the 29th, 1856, the Victoria Cross (commonly called the VC) was formally established by Queen Victoria. The VC is the highest honour available to the armed forces.

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Three Posts
St George, Patron Saint of England
Music: Edward Elgar
George was born in Israel and served in the Roman army, yet makes an ideal patron for England.

IN 1552, the English government forbade banners depicting Christian saints, considered idolatrous by the country’s newly Protestant churchmen. An exception was made, however, for banners of St George, popular in the army since Richard the Lionheart’s crusade to the Holy Land.

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‘God Save the King!’
Music: Muzio Clementi
The simple melody of the United Kingdom’s national anthem has stirred the souls of some great composers.

THE acclamation ‘God Save the King’ has been sung at every English coronation since Edgar in 973, but the song known today as the national anthem of the United Kingdom is much more recent, appearing for the first time in the ‘Gentleman's Magazine’ of 1745.

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Lessons in British values for a Future King
Music: Thomas Arne
‘Rule Britannia’ was a discreet way of telling a German prince what was expected of a British King.
Music by Thomas Arne
(1710-1778)

THOMAS Arne’s Masque ‘Alfred’ was first performed for Frederick, Prince of Wales, in 1740.

It was a drama about King Alfred, who in the 9th century defeated the invading Danes, united the petty kingdoms of England, and established the first English navy.

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AZ Index

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

Featured Topic
page 1
1 Perilous Waters
King Saul’s jealousies drove those who loved him away, but David was a very different kind of leader.
2 The History of Susannah
A young Jewish woman in ancient Babylon falls victim to a heartless conspiracy.
3 The Judgment of Solomon
The tenth-century King of Israel demonstrated his legendary wisdom in a delicate custody battle.
4 The Story of Esther
A young Jewish girl is chosen as the Queen of Persia, but quickly finds she has enemies.
5 Daniel and the Priests of Bel
An apparent miracle is revealed as sleight-of-hand.
6 Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve are set in a Garden of carefree delight, but the Snake swears they are victims of a cruel deception.
page 2
7 Elisha and the Fiery Horsemen
The King of Syria goes on a mole-hunt, but Elisha does not seem to mind being his prime suspect.
8 Elisha and Naaman the Syrian
Naaman had very fixed ideas about what it takes to get a miracle.
9 Noah’s Flood
God’s love proved to be bigger and stronger than all man’s wickedness.
10 David and Bathsheba
David’s scheme to steal another man’s wife succeeded, but he could not keep his secret from everyone.
11 Cain and Abel
Smarting for his outraged ‘rights’, Cain lost his reason — but not God’s pity and love.
12 Daniel in the Lions’ Den
The King who condemned him to the den of lions felt far worse about it than Daniel did.
page 3
13 Belshazzar’s Feast
Prince Belshazzar’s disrespectful behaviour left him facing the original ‘writing on the wall’.

Word Play: Verb or Noun?

Use each of the words below once as a noun and once as a verb:

Make. Bear. Keep.

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 ‘Wide’
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
A word-making game based on the popular TV show.
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with FOAL and finish with MARE.
For each of these things, select the most apposite word of praise.
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with WIND and finish with CASH.
Do you know ‘beg’ (7 letters), and ‘a single game in the sport of darts’ (3 letters)?
See if you can guess these words letter-by-letter.
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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