All Posts (676)
Nos 291 to 300
Frederic Chopin
Greek History
King George IV (1820-1830)
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. 291
John Field
Greek History
King William IV (1830-1837)
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. 292
Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Liberty and Prosperity
King George IV (1820-1830) to Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
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 German superseded Spanish wool, and Australian has superseded German to a great extent.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. 293
Charles Villiers Stanford
Character and Conduct
Bear and Forbear
A sympathetic understanding of the trials of other people is essential for getting along.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)

NOR will the wise man expect too much from those about him. If he would live at peace with others, he will bear and forbear. And even the best have often foibles of character which have to be endured, sympathised with, and perhaps pitied.

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No. 294
Percy Grainger
Modern History
King George III (1760-1820) to Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
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. 295
2 two-part story
Charles Villiers Stanford
Lives of the Saints
St Helen Finds the True Cross
The mother of the Roman Emperor goes to Jerusalem on a quest close to her heart.
Based on ‘Elene’ by Cynewulf
(8th century)

EMPEROR Constantine the Great secured his crown by displaying the sign of the Cross in battle, and soon afterwards, in 326, he encouraged his Christian mother, Helen, to go to Jerusalem to find Christ’s original, true Cross.

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No. 296
Sophia Giustani Dussek
Liberty and Prosperity
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
How Liberating the Slaves also Clothed the Poor
The closure of slave plantations following the Abolition of Slavery Act in 1833 had a curious side-effect.
Based on an article by Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)

THE African slaves in the West Indies were usually dressed in a shirt and trousers of striped mattress sacking. As soon as they were emancipated, they wished to dress like their late masters, and Jewish entrepreneurs in London heard of it from their colleagues in the Caribbean. So they hastily washed, mended and exported second-hand clothes to the States, allowing ex-slaves to rival their former owner’s wardrobe for an eighth of the price.

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No. 297
Ron Goodwin
The Second World War
King George VI (1936-1952)
The Battle of Britain
Britain’s desperate defence against a much larger, better-prepared military machine was a costly victory.

BY the summer of 1940, Nazi Germany had acquired control over most of Western Europe and Scandinavia, and Adolf Hitler confidently attacked RAF bases in southern England in August that year.

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No. 298
Gustav Holst
The Second World War
King George VI (1936-1952)
Wilfrid Israel
Wilfrid Israel used his Berlin department store as cover for smuggling thousands of Jewish children to safety in Britain.

EVEN before the Nazis came to power in 1933, Wilfrid Israel was helping Jews escape to Britain, America and the British Mandate for Palestine.

As manager of a flagship Berlin department store, Wilfrid had a peculiar kind of influence. After the SS arrested some of his employees during Kristallnacht on 9th November, 1938, Wilfrid secured their release by offering the commander at the Sechsenhausen camp free shopping over Christmas.

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No. 299
2 two-part story
George Frideric Handel
British Myths and Legends
The Legend of Pollard’s Lands
An enterprising knight rids the Bishop of Durham of a troublesome boar, but the price comes as a shock to his lordship.

THE estates around Auckland Castle, seat of the Bishops of Durham, were troubled by a wild boar, so much so that the Bishop and even the King had each put up a princely reward for his head.

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No. 300
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
At fifteen John Dalton was a village schoolmaster in Kendal; at forty he had published the first scientific theory of atoms.
By Lewis Carroll
(1832-1898)
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By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
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Joseph’s brothers decide they have had enough of their rival in their father’s affections.

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Polyword ‘Fresh’
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 ‘well-worn route or habit’ (3 letters), and ‘naval officer’ (7 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with MILE and finish with POST.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.