All Posts (679)
Nos 91 to 100
2 two-part story
Vassilis Tsabropoulos and Byzantine Chant
Lives of the Saints
Roman Empire (Byzantine Era) (330 - 1453)
The Voice of an Angel
A tenth-century Greek monk is joined by a total stranger for Mattins.
Based on a
Byzantine Tradition

AT daybreak one Sunday morning in 982, a monk on Mount Athos could be heard chanting before an icon of Mary. At his side, taking it in turns to sing, was another monk – not his own elder, who had left him alone for a night and gone to nearby Karyes, but a visitor, a total stranger who had knocked on his door in the small hours and introduced himself as Monk Gabriel.

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No. 91
William Herschel
Liberty and Prosperity
The Economic Case for Generous Wages
Adam Smith asks employers to pay the most generous wages their finances will allow.
By Adam Smith
(1723-1790)

THE liberal reward of labour increases the industry of the common people. The wages of labour are the encouragement of industry, which, like every other human quality, improves in proportion to the encouragement it receives.

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No. 92
Eric Coates
Liberty and Prosperity
The Economic Case for Time Off
Adam Smith encourages employers to restrict working hours to reasonable limits, for humanity and for profit.
By Adam Smith
(1723-1790)

WORKMEN, when they are liberally paid by the piece, are very apt to overwork themselves, and to ruin their health and constitution in a few years. A carpenter in London, and in some other places, is not supposed to last in his utmost vigour above eight years.

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No. 93
Sir Arthur Sullivan
Extracts from Literature
Viola Draws a Blank
Viola tries to tell Orsino, Duke of Illyria, that his beloved Olivia is not the only woman deserving of his attention.
By William Shakespeare
(1564-1616)

“MY father had a daughter lov’d a man,
As it might be perhaps, were I a woman,
I should your lordship.”

“And what’s her history?”

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No. 94
Samuel Wesley
Extracts from Literature
A World of Differences
Emma tries to reconcile her father to the unaccountable tastes of his nearest and dearest.
By Jane Austen
(1775-1817)

“ONCE Henry asked me for a knife, but I told him knives were only made for grandpapas. I think their father is too rough with them very often.”

“He appears rough to you,” said Emma, “because you are so very gentle yourself; but if you could compare him with other papas, you would not think him rough.”

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No. 95
Ludwig van Beethoven
Napoleonic Wars
Ode to (English) Joy
Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony was commissioned by a fiercely independent Britain, and Beethoven was excited to oblige.

ON June 9th, 1817, a letter arrived at Ludwig van Beethoven’s residence in Baden informing him that friends at the Philharmonic Society in London, anxious for his well-being and finances, could offer him 300 guineas for two new symphonies by January 1818, to be conducted by Beethoven himself in the capital.

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No. 96
Ignaz Moscheles
Extracts from Literature
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
The Train of a Life
In Charles Dickens’s tale set around Mugby Junction, a man sees his life flash by like a ghostly train.
By Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)

AS the belated traveller plodded up and down, a shadowy train went by him in the gloom which was no other than the train of a life. From whatsoever intangible deep cutting or dark tunnel it emerged, here it came, unsummoned and unannounced, stealing upon him and passing away into obscurity.

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No. 97
George Frideric Handel
Extracts from Literature
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
Twelve Poor Men and True
Charles Dickens explains the thinking behind Jesus Christ’s choice of friends.
By Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)

JESUS Christ chose twelve poor men to be His companions. He chose them from among poor men, in order that the poor might know that Heaven was made for them as well as for the rich, and that God makes no difference between those who wear good clothes and those who go barefoot and in rags.

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No. 98
2 two-part story
George Frideric Handel and Thomas Arne
Music and Musicians
Anne Ford Thicknesse
A young English girl in Dr Johnson’s London struggles to share her gift for music.

ANNE Ford was a pretty, gifted musician who sang and played both the English guitar and the viola da gamba (not then considered a very ladylike instrument) to the delight of London’s fashionable society, including Thomas Arne.

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No. 99
George Frideric Handel
Bible and Saints
Anglo-Saxon Britain (410-1066)
Birds of Paradise
Northumbrian poet Cynewulf paints a word-picture of heaven and the seraph-band that swoops and soars before the throne.
By Cynewulf
(8th century)

WHEREFORE the kindred of the Seraphim, quick to act, strengthened to authority, steadfast in the truth, rise up amidst the angel host in worship; how excellently the tireless throng sings! far and near reaches their voice, sonorous in its slow beauty.

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No. 100
Polywords (185)
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Latest: Grey
Added on Thursday February 15th, 2018
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.

About our calendars

Today in History
1804 A steam locomotive built by Richard Trevithick makes the first return railway journey
From our Archive
By Rudyard Kipling
(1865-1936)
Kipling borrowed from the Greek Independence movement to give thanks for the end of the Great War.
Based on an account by Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)
The Wars of the Roses pitted two royal houses against each other for the crown of England.
By Samuel Johnson
(1709-1784)
The great Dr Johnson argues that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
Ten British POWs in German-occupied Poland decide to help a young Jewish woman escape the SS and a death march to the sea.
General Gordon’s death was a sensation and a scandal in its day.

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History (416)
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Georgian Era (113)
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Quickwords (46)
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Stuart Era (18)
India (14)
Tudor Era (11)
Adam Smith (10)
Polyword ‘Rapid Transit’
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 ‘street lined with tall buildings or trees’ (6 letters), and ‘shed’ (3 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with SWORD and finish with PEACE.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.