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English Language and History

The brief stories below are taken from history, myth or fiction. Each one is accompanied by games and exercises in essential grammar and free composition, based on old school textbooks.

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The Character of Horatio Lord Nelson
Music: Muzio Clementi
High praise from someone who knew him better than most.
By The Revd Alexander Scott
(1768-1840)

LET the country mourn their hero; I grieve for the loss of the most fascinating companion I ever conversed with — the greatest and most simple of men — one of the nicest and most innocent — interesting beyond all, on shore, in public and even in private life.

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AZ Index

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

Featured Topic
Tagged ‘Tales from the Bible’ (22 posts)
page 1
1 Joseph and the Coat of Many Colours
Joseph’s brothers decide they have had enough of their rival in their father’s affections.
2 Perilous Waters
King Saul’s jealousies drove those who loved him away, but David was a very different kind of leader.
3 The First Easter
In a translation from the Authorised Version of the Bible, published in 1611, St Mark recounts the discovery of Christ’s empty tomb.
4 The History of Susannah
A young Jewish woman in ancient Babylon falls victim to a heartless conspiracy.
5 The Judgment of Solomon
The tenth-century King of Israel demonstrated his legendary wisdom in a delicate custody battle.
6 The Story of Esther
A young Jewish girl is chosen as the Queen of Persia, but quickly finds she has enemies.
page 2
7 Daniel and the Priests of Bel
An apparent miracle is revealed as sleight-of-hand.
8 The Good Samaritan
Our responsibilities are not defined by laws or borne by governments. They are defined by mercy, and borne by love.
9 The Story of Pentecost
Jesus’s apostles receive the gift of God’s Holy Spirit, and the startling effects quickly draw a crowd.
10 The Parable of the Ten Virgins
Five young women cared enough about a man’s wedding-day to make the smallest of sacrifices, and received the best of rewards.
11 The Sunday of Palms and Willows
For centuries, northern countries from Russia to England have laid the catkins of the willow tree before Jesus as he enters Jerusalem.
12 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 3
13 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.
14 The Man Born Blind
A man born blind is healed by Jesus, but finds himself a social outcast as a result.
15 Elisha and Naaman the Syrian
Naaman had very fixed ideas about what it takes to get a miracle.
16 Noah’s Flood
God’s love proved to be bigger and stronger than all man’s wickedness.
17 The Adoration of the Magi
Persian star-gazers hasten to Israel for the birth of a royal heir, but find that King Herod has had his fill of them.
18 David and Bathsheba
David’s scheme to steal another man’s wife succeeded, but he could not keep his secret from everyone.
page 4
19 Daniel in the Lions’ Den
The King who condemned him to the den of lions felt far worse about it than Daniel did.
20 The Parable of the Prodigal Son
Love doesn’t make people pay for past mistakes.
21 Cain and Abel
Smarting for his outraged ‘rights’, Cain lost his reason — but not God’s pity and love.
22 Belshazzar’s Feast
Prince Belshazzar’s disrespectful behaviour left him facing the original ‘writing on the wall’.
which is ‘English Style’ ?

Word Play: Spinner

Use these words together in a single sentence:

Others. Happened. Touch.

By Ethel Smyth
(1858-1944)
Composer Ethel Smyth buys a new-fangled ladies’ bicycle, and scandalises the neighbours.
By Lewis Carroll
(1832-1898)
Alice meets Humpty Dumpty, and it turns out that she has been using words wrong all her life.
The unsung surveyor from Cheshire, who built railways and made friends across the world.
By William Ewart Gladstone
(1808-1898)
William Gladstone warns voters not to leave foreign policy in the hands of interventionist politicians.
Cut
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.
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.
Polyword ‘Bleat’
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 ‘amusing play on words’ (3 letters), and ‘leaf of a pine tree’ (6 letters)?
Do you know ‘princes and princesses, kings and queens’ (7 letters), and ‘jump up and down on one foot’ (3 letters)?
Change ROCK into SALT, one letter at a time.
Do you know ‘complaint’ (4 letters), and ‘be the right size and shape for a space’ (3 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with FOAL and finish with MARE.
See if you can guess these words letter-by-letter.
top topics
History (375)
Fiction (81)

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

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