All Posts (676)
Nos 451 to 460
2 two-part story
Greek Traditional Song
Classical History
The Last Days of Socrates
Socrates was placed on death row while Athens celebrated a religious festival.

EACH year in May, a sacred ship would leave Athens for Delos, on a mission to the Temple of Apollo, where commemoration would be made of the abolition of human sacrifice.

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No. 451
Gustav Holst
Classical History
The Battle of Marathon
Remembered as the inspiration of the famous Olympic road race, but much more important than that.

TO King Darius I of Persia, Greece was a prize like no other: a prosperous centre of trade, of the arts, of civilisation itself.

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No. 452
Johann Baptist Cramer
Mediaeval History
The Wars of the Roses
A struggle between rival Royal Houses during the 15th century

KING Edward III had a son named Edmund of Langley, Duke of York, and another named John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster.

Their descendants Richard, Duke of York, and King Henry VI, of the House of Lancaster, were rivals for the throne of England.

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No. 453
2 two-part story
John Stanley
Mediaeval History
King Henry VI (1422-1461, 1470-1) to King Edward IV (1461-1483)
Richard of York: One Hand on the Throne
The Wars of the Roses pitted two royal houses against each other for the crown of England.
Based on an account by Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)

KING Henry VI suffered from periodic insanity, and his Queen, Margaret of Anjou, was the power behind his throne.

Neither was popular. Many people were glad that after capturing the King at St Albans on May 22nd, 1455, Richard, Duke of York, left Margaret no choice but to reinstate him as Lord Protector, governing in Henry’s stead.

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No. 454
Franz Joseph Haydn
Tales from the Bible
Noah’s Flood
God’s love proved to be bigger and stronger than all man’s wickedness.

IN the ninth generation of Adam’s descendants, creation had become so corrupt that God was ready to sweep everything from the face of the earth in a great flood.

However, Noah and his family found favour in God’s eyes.

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No. 455
Ignaz Moscheles
Tales from the Bible
Elisha and Naaman the Syrian
Naaman had very fixed ideas about what it takes to get a miracle.

NAAMAN, a captain in the service of Ben-Hadad II, King of Syria, suffered from leprosy.

Naaman’s wife had a Jewish maid, and one day she remarked that if only the prophet Elisha were here, Naaman would be better in no time.

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No. 456
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Lives of the Saints
St Wilfrid’s Debt
The Blessed Virgin Mary adds four years to the life of Bishop Wilfrid, and an angel suggests a suitable thank-you.
Based on an account by Stephen of Ripon
(early 8th century)

WHEN Wilfrid reached Meaux, he was so weak that his friends spent every moment in heartfelt prayer as his bedside. The bishop was breathing still, but unconscious, and he had taken no food or water for four days.

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No. 457
Camille Saint-Saens
Extracts from Literature
Silver Swan
Mark Twain’s attention was drawn off people-watching for a moment by an extraordinarily lifelike machine.
By Mark Twain
(1835-1910)

OF course we visited the renowned International Exposition. It was a wonderful show, but the moving masses of people of all nations we saw there were a still more wonderful show.

I discovered that if I were to stay there a month, I should still find myself looking at the people instead of the inanimate objects on exhibition.

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No. 458
3 three-part story
Richard Jones
Greek and Roman Myths
The Siege of Troy: the Abduction of Helen
Paris, prince of Troy, takes the not unwilling Queen of Sparta back home with him, and sparks twenty years of retribution.

WHEN Priam, King of Troy, sent his son Paris to Sparta on a diplomatic mission, the boy’s sister Cassandra warned him not to get involved with any of the Greek girls.

Far from taking her advice, however, Paris came home with the beautiful Queen of Sparta, Helen, on his arm.

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No. 459
2 two-part story
Ignace Pleyel
French History
Mathieu Martinel and the Drowning Soldier
A young French cavalry soldier took a tremendous risk to rescue a drowning man.
Based on an account by Charlotte Yonge
(1823-1901)

IN 1820, Mathieu Martinel was in Strasbourg when he saw a fellow cavalryman had fallen into the river, right beside the weir of a churning mill-wheel. Martinel leapt straight into the turbid waters, and grabbed onto the drowning man.

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No. 460
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
By Richard Cobden
(1804-1865)
Victorian MP Richard Cobden pleaded for Britain to set the world an example as a nation open for business.
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
A shy and unmusical stable-hand suddenly began to sing wise and moving hymns.
By Anthony Trollope
(1815-1882)
There comes a point in some relationships when words just aren’t enough.
Music by George Frideric Handel
(1685-1759)
Handel called it ‘Air and Variations’, but by Charles Dickens’s day everyone knew it as ‘The Harmonious Blacksmith’.
An early British king discovers what he is really worth to his daughters.

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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 ‘Arch’
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 ‘perceptive’ (5 letters), and ‘English artist’ (3 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with STAR and finish with DUST.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.