All Posts (649)
Nos 91 to 100
2 two-part story
Joseph Boulogne Chavalier de Saint Georges
Extracts from Literature
A Solemn Duty
Monsieur St Aubert falls seriously ill on a walking tour with his daughter Emily, and before the end asks an unexpected favour.
By Ann Radcliffe
(1764-1823)

“HEAR, then, what I am going to tell you. The closet, which adjoins my chamber at La Vallee, has a sliding board in the floor. You will know it by a remarkable knot in the wood, and by its being the next board, except one, to the wainscot, which fronts the door.”

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No. 91
Joseph Boulogne Chavalier de Saint Georges
Extracts from Literature
The (Fairly) Honest Lawyer
Andre-Louis Moreau lives for vengeance on the master swordsman who killed his friend.
By Rafael Sabatini
(1865-1947)

“MY enemy is a swordsman of great strength — the best blade in the province, if not the best blade in France. I thought I would come to Paris to learn something of the art, and then go back and kill him. You see, I have not the means to take lessons otherwise.”

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No. 92
Charles Villiers Stanford
Poets and Poetry
‘The Overland Mail’
A tribute to the postal workers of British India, and to the kind of empire they helped to build.
By Rudyard Kipling
(1865-1936)

IN the name of the Empress of India, make way,
O Lords of the Jungle wherever you roam,
The woods are astir at the close of the day—
We exiles are waiting for letters from Home—
Let the robber retreat; let the tiger turn tail,
In the name of the Empress the Overland-Mail!

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No. 93
Alexei Fyodorovich Lvov
Napoleonic Wars (1804-1815)
The Sneeze of History
It was the opinion of Leo Tolstoy that even Napoleon was never master of his own destiny.
By Leo Tolstoy
(1828-1910)

MANY historians say that the French did not win the battle of Borodino because Napoleon had a cold, and that if he had not had a cold the orders he gave before and during the battle would have been still more full of genius and Russia would have been lost and the face of the world have been changed.

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No. 94
Thomas Linley the Younger
Liberty and Prosperity
Big Spenders
Adam Smith warns that politicians are the last people who should lecture the public about how to run their affairs.
By Adam Smith
(1723-1790)

GREAT nations are never impoverished by private, though they sometimes are by public prodigality and misconduct. The whole, or almost the whole public revenue is, in most countries, employed in maintaining unproductive hands.

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No. 95
James Hook
French Revolution
The Glorious First of June
Admiral Lord Howe battered a French fleet far out in the Atlantic, and helped prevent the spread of bloody revolution.

IN 1793, during their year of bloody Terror, the newly republican government in France publicly executed King Louis XVI, and promptly declared themselves at war with Britain unless the oppressed subjects of King George III followed their revolutionary example.

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No. 96
James Hook
Modern History
Kanguru!
James Cook describes his first sight of a beloved Australian icon.

I SAW myself this morning, a little way from the ship, one of the animals before spoke of; it was of a light mouse colour and the full size of a greyhound, and shaped in every respect like one, with a long tail, which it carried like a greyhound; in short, I should have taken it for a wild dog but for its walking or running, in which it jumped like a hare or deer.

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No. 97
2 two-part story
Francesco Geminiani
Greek and Roman Myths
Heracles and the Cattle of Geryon
Heracles must get the better of a three-bodied giant and steal his cattle.

ON the tiny island of Cadiz at the southern tip of Spain there lived a herd of magnificent red cattle, guarded by a herdsman named Eurytion and his two-headed dog, Orthrus, brother of Cerberus. Their master was Geryon, a giant with three heads and bodies, joined at the hip, and Eurystheus ordered Heracles to steal his entire herd.

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No. 98
Nikolai Medtner
Extracts from Literature
Pure Selfishness
The brilliant but dangerously obsessive Dr Griffin decides that ‘the end justifies the means’.
By H. G. Wells
(1866-1946)

“TO do such a thing would be to transcend magic. And I beheld a magnificent vision of all that invisibility might mean to a man — the mystery, the power, the freedom. Drawbacks I saw none. And I, a shabby, poverty-struck, hemmed-in demonstrator, teaching fools in a provincial college, might suddenly become — this.”

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No. 99
Frank Bridge
Sport History
Arthur MacPherson
MacPherson’s tireless afforts to promote Russian sport earned him a unique Imperial honour, and the enmity of the Communists.

ARTHUR MacPherson’s grandfather, Murdoch, had moved from Perth to St Petersburg in the 1830s. But where Murdoch’s business was shipyards, Arthur was an investor, timber merchant, and sports promoter.

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No. 100
Polywords (182)
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Latest: Path
Added on Monday December 11th, 2017
Doublets (34)
Turn one word into another, changing just one letter each time.
Latest: Stardust
Quickwords (46)
A mini-crossword of everyday vocabulary and general knowledge.
Triplets (23)
Find one common letter that will turn three words into three new ones.
Latest: Triplet No. 23
Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
See how ingenious you can be in combining three randomly chosen words in one sentence.
Compose sentences showing the difference in meaning, grammar or usage between these words.
Practise your basic arithmetic, from multiplation tables to percentages.
Latest: Target Number
Take command of English grammar and composition with these traditional exercises.
Latest: Letters Game
A word search game with a dash of strategy.
Today in History
1878 The death of Alfred Bird, Birmingham pharmacist and confectioner
From our Archive
By John Buchan
(1875-1940)
Richard Hannay reflects on the innocent lives lost, when the lust for power or the desire for revenge makes us less than human.
By Edmund Burke MP
(1729-1797)
Anti-Christian governments don’t make us free, they just impose their own, illiberal morality.
By Percy Bysshe Shelley
(1792-1822)
Poet Percy Shelley calls on November’s sister months to watch by the graveside of the dead Year.
By Jerome K. Jerome
(1859-1927)
Cats do have a conscience: it tells them when to look innocent.
King Ecgfrith of Northumbria dismissed repeated warnings about his imperial ambitions.

A to Z Index

Top Topics
History (394)
Polywords (182)
Georgian Era (107)
Fiction (84)
Quickwords (46)
Doublets (34)
Triplets (23)
Railways (23)
Stuart Era (16)
Adam Smith (10)
Polyword ‘Chine’
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.

More Word Games
A word search game with a dash of strategy.
Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
Do you know ‘snare’ (6 letters), and ‘better’ (3 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with NEAT and finish with TIDY.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.