All Posts (676)
Nos 281 to 290
George Butterworth
Poets and Poetry
Queen Victoria (1837-1901) to King George VI (1936-1952)
Northumberland
A poem of nostalgia for the sea breezes and yellow gorse of Northumberland.
By Wilfrid Wilson Gibson
(1878-1962)

HEATHERLAND and bentland,
Black land and white,
God bring me to Northumberland,
The land of my delight.

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No. 281
George Butterworth
Poets and Poetry
‘Sussex’
A meditation on our instinctive love for the place in which we live.
By Rudyard Kipling
(1865-1936)

GOD gave all men all earth to love,But since our hearts are small,Ordained for each one spot should proveBelovèd over all;That, as He watched Creation’s birth,So we, in godlike mood,May of our love create our earthAnd see that it is good.

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No. 282
John Playford
Character and Conduct
Triumph in Adversity
Two famous figures, one from the sciences and one from the arts, who turned suffering to advantage.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)

MUCH of the best and most useful work done by men and women has been done amidst affliction — sometimes as a relief from it, sometimes from a sense of duty overpowering personal sorrow.

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No. 283
Benjamin Britten
Liberty and Prosperity
Straightforward English
Beware those who encourage ordinary people to be content with clumsy, SMS-style English.
By
N.L. Clay

IF ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ are to be more than catchwords, clear communication must be the rule, and not the exception. In a totalitarian state it may be sufficient for the dictator and his henchmen to be able to use straightforward language. Do we want a society in which placid masses take their orders from bosses?

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No. 284
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. 285
George Frideric Handel
Liberty and Prosperity
King George VI (1936-1952) to Queen Elizabeth II (1952-)
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. 286
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. 287
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. 288
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. 289
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. 290
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 a fable by
Aesop of Samos
Brute force is no substitute for quick thinking.
By William Shakespeare
(1564-1616)
Viola tries to tell Orsino, Duke of Illyria, that his beloved Olivia is not the only woman deserving of his attention.
Based on a sermon by
Elfric of Eynsham
Roman Emperor Julian was ready to destroy an entire Christian community over his wounded pride.
By Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
In the fourth century, Britain’s Christians acquired a taste for watering down the mystery of their message.
A year after the infamous ‘Black hole of Calcutta’, Robert Clive was sent to exact retribution.

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History (414)
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Fiction (85)
Quickwords (46)
Doublets (34)
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Triplets (23)
Stuart Era (17)
India (14)
Tudor Era (11)
Adam Smith (10)
Polyword ‘Alien’
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 ‘amusing play on words’ (3 letters), and ‘leaf of a pine tree’ (6 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with FULL and finish with STOP.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.