All Posts (676)
Nos 121 to 130
James Hook
French Revolution
King George III (1760-1820)
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. 121
James Hook
Modern History
King George III (1760-1820)
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. 122
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. 123
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. 124
Frank Bridge
Sport History
King Edward VII (1901-1910) to King George V (1910-1936)
Arthur MacPherson
MacPherson’s tireless efforts 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. 125
John Field
Sport History
King Edward VII (1901-1910)
The Aspden Cup
British 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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No. 126
Sir Arthur Sullivan
Discovery and Invention
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
Paxton’s Palace
Sir Joseph Paxton not only designed the venue for the Great Exhibition of 1851, he embodied the festival’s most cherished principles.

JOSEPH Paxton one day confided to John Ellis MP, a fellow board-member of the Midland Railway, that he had designed a building truly fit to host the forthcoming Great Exhibition of 1851, the exciting showcase for Imperial science and industry destined for Hyde Park. Ellis gave Paxton just nine days to submit a formal application.

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No. 127
George Frideric Handel
Lives of the Saints
Passover to Pentecost
St Bede explains how the Exodus and the Ten Commandments are related to Easter and Whitsuntide.
By Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)

THE children of Israel, delivered from slavery in Egypt by the sacrifice of a lamb, set out across the desert towards the Promised Land, and came to Mount Sinai.

There, fifty days after Passover, the Lord descended upon the summit amid the sound of trumpets, and thunderclaps and lightning flashes, and laid down the Ten Commandments.

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No. 128
John Jenkins
Greek History
King Charles II (1649-1685)
The Lion of Piraeus
A marble statue in Venice bears witness to Europe’s long history of brave defeats and fruitless victories.

THE Arsenal at Venice is graced by two marble lions looted by Venetian commander Francesco Morsini from Piraeus, near Athens, in 1687. The lions, already a feature of the Greek port for fifteen centuries, were his trophies following a brief liberation of Athens and the Peloponnese from the Ottoman Empire.

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No. 129
William Crotch
Extracts from Literature
One False Step
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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No. 130
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
Based on the short story by Rudyard Kipling
(1865-1936)
Two rascally former British soldiers in India set off to become kings of Kafiristan.
Based on the play by William Shakespeare
(1564-1616)
A duke with a passion for the art of enchantment is stranded by his enemies on a deserted island.
By Harrison Weir
(1824-1906)
Victorian cat-lover Harrison Weir launches into his favourite subject, but finds his audience growing restive.
By Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)
Kate Nickleby must bite her lip as she experiences snobbery for the first time.
By Cynewulf
(8th century)
Northumbrian poet Cynewulf paints a word-picture of heaven and the seraph-band that swoops and soars before the throne.

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History (414)
Polywords (185)
Georgian Era (113)
Fiction (85)
Quickwords (46)
Doublets (34)
Railways (24)
Triplets (23)
Stuart Era (17)
India (14)
Tudor Era (11)
Adam Smith (10)
Polyword ‘Peal’
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 ‘raised stitching on a cricket ball’ (4 letters), and ‘a 1901 Kipling novel’ (3 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.