All Posts (676)
Nos 101 to 110
Muzio Clementi
Extracts from Literature
Wild Goose Chase
Sir Walter Scott warned that schoolchildren must not expect to be entertained all the time.
By Sir Walter Scott
(1771-1832)

THE history of England is now reduced to a game at cards, and the doctrines of arithmetic may, we are assured, be sufficiently acquired by spending a few hours a week at a new and complicated edition of the Royal Game of the Goose.

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No. 101
George Frideric Handel
Music and Musicians
Beethoven’s First
Everyone wanted to know who Beethoven’s favourite composer was.

A QUESTION many people asked Beethoven was ‘Who is your favourite composer?’

Englishman Edward Schulz recalled hearing Beethoven say over dinner, ‘Handel is the greatest composer that ever lived’, and Johann Stumpff, a London-based instrument-maker who visited Beethoven in 1824, received the same reply. ‘To him I bow the knee,’ Beethoven added, and promptly did.

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No. 102
Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Music and Musicians
King William IV (1830-1837) to Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
‘My English Joy’
In 1837 William Sterndale Bennett, then regarded as England’s most exciting young composer, made history in quite another... field.
By Sir William Sterndale Bennett
(1816-1875)

WELL, I’m off on Monday. Beginning to pay my visits p.p.c.. Count Reuss is gone away to Kreutz. Called yesterday on Madame von Goethe, dined with Benecke, and played at Cricket with some Englishmen, which made the Germans stare very much, as they never saw the game before — we had English bats and balls.

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No. 103
2 two-part story
William Byrd
Music and Musicians
Diplomatic Immunity
Sir James Melville eavesdrops on Queen Elizabeth I’s music practice, and incurs Her Majesty’s displeasure.
By Sir James Melville
(1535–1617)

THE same day after dinner, my Lord of Hunsden drew me up to a quiet gallery that I might hear some music (but he said he durst not avow it), where I might hear the Queen play upon the virginals.

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No. 104
2 two-part story
Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Music and Musicians
King George IV (1820-1830) to Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Acclaimed in Germany as a composer on a par with Mendelssohn himself, Bennett sacrificed his life and talents for music in Britain.

WILLIAM Sterndale Bennett wrote ‘The May Queen’ sitting in the bay window of an Eastbourne pub. When the pub was later demolished, Bennett bought the window and erected it in his summerhouse as a place of inspiration. He always felt more comfortable when surrounded by the familiar.

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No. 105
Jan Ladislav Dussek
Sport History
Queen Victoria (1837-1901) to King George V (1910-1936)
A Many-Chorded Lyre
Stylish batting in cricket is about variety, invention and frankly anything that works, and we have Dr W.G. Grace to thank for it.
By Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji of Nawanagar
(1872-1933)

“BEFORE W. G. batsmen were of two kinds, — a batsman played a forward game or he played a back game. Each player, too, seems to have made a specialty of some particular stroke. The criterion of style was, as it were, a certain mixed method of play. It was bad cricket to hit a straight ball; as for pulling a slow long-hop, it was regarded as immoral.

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No. 106
Malcolm Arnold
Sport History
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
Hooked
The great British public leaves a German tourist speechless during a county match at the Oval in London.
By Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji of Nawanagar
(1872-1933)

“TO begin with, I was much astounded at the enormous seating area of the ground, and at the huge crowd that was assembled to watch eleven men from Nottingham play at bat and ball against eleven men of Surrey.”

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No. 107
2 two-part story
Johannes Brahms
Extracts from Literature
The Convert
Victorian cat-lover Harrison Weir launches into his favourite subject, but finds his audience growing restive.
By Harrison Weir
(1824-1906)

“STOP,” said my friend, “I see you do like cats, and I do not, so let the matter drop.”

“No,” said I, “not so. That is why I instituted this Cat Show; I wish every one to see how beautiful a well-cared-for cat is, and how docile, gentle, and — may I use the term? — cossetty. Come with me, my dear old friend, and see the first Cat Show.”

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No. 108
Louise Farrenc
Character and Conduct
King George III (1760-1820)
A Very Special Correspondent
Pauline de Meulan’s magazine Publiciste was close to going out of business when an anonymous contributor stepped in.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)

THE circumstances connected with M Guizot's courtship and marriage are curious and interesting.

While a young man living by his pen in Paris, writing books, reviews, and translations, he formed a casual acquaintance with Mademoiselle Pauline de Meulan, a lady of great ability, then editor of the Publiciste.

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No. 109
2 two-part story
Edward Elgar
Extracts from Literature
A Curious Incident
Sherlock Holmes has been engaged to find a missing thoroughbred, but seems more interested in some lame sheep and an idle dog.
By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
(1859-1930)

“I MUST say that I am rather disappointed in our London consultant,” said Colonel Ross, bluntly, as my friend left the room. “I do not see that we are any further than when he came.”

“At least you have his assurance that your horse will run,” said I.

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No. 110
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.

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From our Archive
The Parliament of Scotland tried to liberate itself from London’s strangling single market.
Howard gave his life to saving the ‘great gifts and strange inconsistencies’ of Britain’s unique democracy.
From ‘History of the Wars’ by Procopius of Caesarea
(c.500—c.560)
The Roman Emperor Honorius, so the story goes, had more on his mind than the impending sack of one of Europe’s iconic cities.
Thetis snubs Eris, goddess of Discord, and sets off a series of events leading to the Trojan War.
The experienced nurse could not stop saving lives, even at the cost of her own.

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Polyword ‘Hope’
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 which ‘Barry’ is the title-character of a novel by Thackeray (6 letters), and ‘thwart, perplex’ (6 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with FISH and finish with CAKE.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.