fond (adj.)
She was fond of all boys’ plays, and greatly preferred cricket.
Jane Austen (1775-1817), ‘Northanger Abbey’, of Catherine Morland
Trent Bridge cricket ground, Nottinghamshire. © DncnH, Wikimedia Commons. Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0.
Welcome
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
1
The Daring Escape of Richard the Fearless
Music: Louise Farrenc
The ten-year-old got away from a royal castle disguised as a bundle of hay.
Based on a story by Charlotte Yonge
(1823-1901)

AFTER the murder of William Longsword, the powerful Duke of Normandy, King Louis IV of France surprised everyone by turning up at the funeral, and taking the duke’s young son Richard, aged about ten, into his own care, which was little more than an imprisonment.

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The Aspden Cup
Music: John Field
English factory workers started a historic three-cornered league in the Russian city of St Petersburg.

IN 1879, British expatriates formed Russia’s first football team, the St Petersburg Football Club, and started playing matches against the crews of visiting ships. Soon three new teams, largely recruited from among the labourers and sports-mad administrators of local textile mills, were vying for the Aspden Cup, sponsored by English entrepreneur Thomas Aspden.

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‘Not one more!’
Music: Muzio Clementi; Sir Hubert Parry
The prospect of facing daunting odds made his cousin quail, but Henry acted like a true King.
By William Shakespeare
(1564-1616)

O DO not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart.

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Guardian of Peace
Music: Charles Villiers Stanford
J. S. Mill argues that free trade has done more to put an end to war than any political union or military alliance.
By John Stuart Mill
(1806-1873)

COMMERCE first taught nations to see with goodwill the wealth and prosperity of one another. Before, the patriot, unless sufficiently advanced in culture to feel the world his country, wished all countries weak, poor, and ill-governed but his own: he now sees in their wealth and progress a direct source of wealth and progress to his own country.

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One False Step
Music: William Crotch
Louisa Musgrove thought she had hit on a sure method of winning Captain Wentworth’s affections.
By Jane Austen
(1775-1817)

THERE was too much wind to make the high part of the new Cobb pleasant for the ladies, and they agreed to get down the steps to the lower, and all were contented to pass quietly and carefully down the steep flight, excepting Louisa; she must be jumped down them by Captain Wentworth.

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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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AZ Index

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

Featured Topic
page 1
1 Birds of Paradise
By Cynewulf
(8th century)
Northumbrian poet Cynewulf paints a word-picture of heaven and the seraph-band that swoops and soars before the throne.
2 Taste and See
Wonder spread through a Tyneside monastery after Bishop Cuthbert asked for a drink of water.
3 The Last Commandment
By Cynewulf
(8th century)
Northumbrian poet Cynewulf imagines the farewell between Jesus and his Apostles, forty days after his resurrection.
4 Crayke Abbey
The long-lost monastery at Crayke in North Yorkshire was home to two saints with different but equally valuable gifts.
5 The Six Leaps of Faith
By Cynewulf
(8th century)
The eighth-century English bishop and poet Cynewulf explores a prophecy from the Song of Solomon.
6 At Heaven’s Gate
By Cynewulf
(8th century)
The eighth-century English bishop and poet Cynewulf takes us to the threshold of God’s holy city, and gives us a choice.
page 2
7 Annunciation
By Cynewulf
(8th century)
Cynewulf reflects on the mystery of the appearance of the angel Gabriel to Mary.
8 St Chad and the Invisible Choir
Chad, the seventh-century Bishop of Mercia, seemed to be making a lot of music for one man.
9 St Cuthbert and the Phantom Fire
The Northumbrian saint warned of an enemy who would stop at nothing to silence the good news.
10 Cuthbert, the Bridle and the Book
One of England’s most precious artefacts, the Lindisfarne Gospels, was nearly lost at sea.
11 Cuthbert and the Mystery Guest
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
A young monk was rewarded for taking his duties as guest-master seriously.
12 Cuthbert and the Dun Cow
The magnificent cathedral at Durham owes its existence to a missing cow.
page 3
13 Cvthbertvs
Henry VIII’s experts declared that saints were nothing special, but St Cuthbert had a surprise for them.
14 Bread from Heaven
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
Cuthbert trusted that keeping his promised fast would not do him any harm.
15 The Lessons of History
By Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
England’s first and greatest historian explains why history is so important.
16 St Bede of Wearmouth and Jarrow
The mild-mannered, artistic monk was nevertheless a founding father of the English nation.
17 High Beneath Heaven’s Roof
By Cynewulf
(8th century)
The Cross of Christ speaks, and tells of the amazing transformation from sign of shame to sign of redemption.
18 St Aidan Returns King Penda’s Fire
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
When Penda tried to burn down Bamburgh Castle, St Aidan turned the pagan King’s own weapons against him.
page 4
19 Caedmon Learns to Sing
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
A shy and unmusical stable-hand suddenly began to sing wise and moving hymns.
20 St Wilfrid’s Debt
Based on an account by Stephen of Ripon
(early 8th century)
The Blessed Virgin Mary adds four years to the life of Bishop Wilfrid, and an angel suggests a suitable thank-you.
21 St Hild and the Synod of Whitby
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
The respected Abbess oversaw the English Church’s historic commitment to adopt Byzantine traditions.
22 How St Benedict Biscop brought Byzantium to Britain
By Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
The chapel of Bede’s monastery in Sunderland was full of the colours and sounds of the far-off Mediterranean world.
23 St Wilfrid and the Sheriff’s Wife
Based on an account by Stephen of Ripon
(early 8th century)
St Wilfrid brings healing to the wife of his own gaoler.
24 Cuthbert and the Miracle of the Wind
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
The young monk taught some hard-hearted pagans a lesson they’d never forget.
page 5
25 St Wilfrid and the Angel of Light
Based on an account by Stephen of Ripon
(early 8th century)
St Wilfrid finds comfort during his tussle with the King of Northumbria
26 St Cuthbert and the Otters
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
An inquisitive monk spied on a guest’s night-time walks.

Word Play: Spinner

Use these words together in a single sentence:

Years. Engaged. Waited.

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 ‘As You Were’
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?

Polyword

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, including 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 London (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.

More Puzzles
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.
Do you know ‘cleansing bar’ (4 letters), and ‘Doncaster horse-race’ (2,5 letters)?
Do you know ‘amusing play on words’ (3 letters), and ‘leaf of a pine tree’ (6 letters)?
Do you know ‘brainy fellow’ (7 letters), and ‘drink’ (3 letters)?
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.
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.

More like this: Maths Gym Mental arithmetic