All Posts (649)
Nos 261 to 270
George Frideric Handel
Liberty and Prosperity
Violet van der Elst
An eccentric, self-made businesswoman, who ‘made three fortunes and spent five’ in the campaign against the death penalty.

VIOLET Ann Dodge’s first job was as a scullery-maid, but a groundbreaking brushless shaving cream she concocted in her kitchen, Shavex, made her independently wealthy. In 1937, she bought the crumbling Harlaxton Manor, once seriously considered by King Edward VII for his summer retreat.

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No. 261
John Playford
Liberty and Prosperity
The Unselfishess of Free Trade
Victorian MP Richard Cobden pleaded for Britain to set the world an example as a nation open for business.
By Richard Cobden
(1804-1865)

WE have set an example to the world in all ages; we have given them the representative system. The very rules and regulations of this House have been taken as the model for every representative assembly throughout the whole civilised world; and having besides given them the example of a free press and civil and religious freedom, and every institution that belongs to freedom and civilisation, we are now about giving a still greater example; we are going to set the example of making industry free.

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No. 262
Franz Joseph Haydn
Extracts from Literature
The White Queen’s Riddle
Alice was set a poetical test of wits by the kindly (but like all the other characters, utterly maddening) White Queen.
By Lewis Carroll
(1832-1898)

“FIRST, the fish must be caught.”
That is easy: a baby, I think, could have caught it.
“Next, the fish must be bought.”
That is easy: a penny, I think, would have bought it.

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No. 263
3 three-part story
Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Tales from the Bible
The Story of Esther
A young Jewish girl is chosen as the Queen of Persia, but quickly finds she has enemies.

AT a banquet to close a great exhibition for the princes of his empire, a tipsy King Ahasuerus ordered Vashti, his lovely Queen, to parade herself for his guests’ gratification. When Vashti refused to be exhibited, Ahasuerus, fearing a wave of female insubordination, pointedly divorced her, and crowned Esther, Persia’s most beautiful virgin, in her stead.

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No. 264
Muzio Clementi
Extracts from Literature
Swept off her Feet
Marianne Dashwood sprains an ankle, but help is at hand.
By Jane Austen
(1775-1817)

A GENTLEMAN carrying a gun, with two pointers playing round him, was passing up the hill and within a few yards of Marianne, when her accident happened. He put down his gun and ran to her assistance. She had raised herself from the ground, but her foot had been twisted in her fall, and she was scarcely able to stand. The gentleman offered his services; and passing through the garden, the gate of which had been left open by Margaret, he bore her directly into the house.

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No. 265
Ignaz Moscheles
Extracts from Literature
A Perfect Combination of Imperfections
Jane Eyre meets a not very handsome stranger, and likes him all the better for it.
By Charlotte Brontë
(1816-1855)

HAD he been a handsome, heroic-looking young gentleman, I should not have dared to stand thus questioning him against his will, and offering my services unasked. I had hardly ever seen a handsome youth; never in my life spoken to one.

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No. 266
Frederic Chopin
Greek History
The Greeks, the Governor and the Potatoes
John Kapodistrias had an instinct for how a long-oppressed people might think.

SIR Walter Raleigh is said to have introduced potatoes to Elizabethan England, and Antoine-Augustin Parmentier is synonymous with their cultivation in 18th century France. In the case of Greece, the credit must go to John Kapodistrias, the country’s first Head of State following the revolution of 1821.

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No. 267
John Field
Greek History
Richard Church
The headstrong Irish boy became part of the Greek resistance movement that won independence in 1832.

AT sixteen, Richard Church ran away from home in Cork and enlisted in the British Army. Later, he made a name for himself in the liberation of the Ionian Islands from Napoleon in 1809, and stayed on, as commanding officer of two new Greek regiments in British pay.

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No. 268
Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Liberty and Prosperity
Huskisson’s Legacy
Charles Dickens explains how cutting tax and regulation on Britain’s global trade made everyone better off.
By Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)

AUSTRALIA was the great woollen revolutionist. German superseded Spanish wool, and Australian has superseded German to a great extent. The fine wool of Spain often cost ten shillings a-pound; we now obtain an enormous supply of fine wool at from one shilling and sixpence to two shillings per pound.

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No. 269
Percy Grainger
Modern History
The Founding of Australia
Within little more than half a century a British penal colony turned into a prosperous, free-trade democracy.

BY 1776, a thousand convicts each year were being spared the gallows and transported to the American colonies, a practice begun in 1614, but abruptly ended by the American Declaration of Independence.

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No. 270
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
Loyal subjects of King James II continued to fight his corner after he, and any real hope of success, had gone.
Handel’s German boss fired the composer for spending all his time in London. When they met again, it was... rather awkward.
Based on the short story by
Oscar Wilde
A giant gets angry when he finds children playing in his garden.
By Edmund Burke MP
(1729-1797)
Britain’s ‘empire’ owed its existence not to her armies or politicians but to her merchants and her unique brand of liberty.
Pygmalion discovered that prudishness is not the same as purity.

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Georgian Era (107)
Fiction (84)
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Doublets (34)
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Adam Smith (10)
Polyword ‘Sett’
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 ‘pull along behind one’ (3 letters), and ‘self-evident or accepted proposition’ (5 letters)?
Change SNOW into DROP, one letter at a time.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.