All Posts (679)
Nos 581 to 590
Charles Villiers Stanford
Extracts from Literature
Mrs Bold’s Thunderclap
There comes a point in some relationships when words just aren’t enough.
By Anthony Trollope
(1815-1882)

“AH, Eleanor, will it not be sweet, with the Lord’s assistance, to travel hand in hand through this mortal valley which His mercies will make pleasant to us, till hereafter we shall dwell together at the foot of His throne?”

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No. 581
William Herschel
Discovery and Invention
Edmond Halley
Edmond Halley will forever be associated with the comet named after him, but his greatest achievement was getting Sir Isaac Newton to publish ‘Principia Mathematica’.

AT nineteen, Edmond Halley was assistant to John Flamsteed, the Astronomer Royal at the Greenwich Observatory, and at twenty-two he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, in recognition of his work mapping constellations and observing weather patterns on the island of St Helena in the south Atlantic.

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No. 582
Lives of the Saints
St Wilfrid and the Sheriff’s Wife
St Wilfrid brings healing to the wife of his own gaoler.
Based on an account by Stephen of Ripon
(early 8th century)

THE King’s sheriff, Osfrith, was a married man. One day, his wife suddenly fell ill. First, she experienced a growing stiffness, which in time became a complete numbness in all her limbs. The sheriff found her cold to the touch, and flecks of foam appeared round her mouth.

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No. 583
John Field
Discovery and Invention
The Star that Winked
John Goodricke’s observations of Algol won him the Copley Medal while still in his teens, despite his disability.

JOHN Goodricke lost his hearing to a childhood fever, but his parents found a place for him at a pioneering school for the deaf, the Thomas Braidwood Academy in Edinburgh, which then enabled him to attend the distinguished Warrington Academy.

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No. 584
Louise Farrenc
Mediaeval History
The Daring Escape of Richard the Fearless
The ten-year-old got away from a royal castle disguised as a bundle of hay.
Based on a story by Charlotte Yonge
(1823-1901)

AFTER the murder of William Longsword, the powerful Duke of Normandy, King Louis IV of France surprised everyone by turning up at the funeral, and taking the duke’s young son Richard, aged about ten, into his own care, which was little more than an imprisonment.

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No. 585
Franz Joseph Haydn
Aesop’s Fables
The Partridge and the Cockerels
It’s hard when messed-up people treat you badly, but if you take it personally it only makes it worse.
Based on a fable by
Aesop of Samos

ONE day a man who kept cockerels was busy about his yard when a salesman came to the gate and offered him a tame partridge. So he bought it, and let it fend for itself among his other birds.

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No. 586
Francesco Geminiani
Aesop’s Fables
The Farmer and the Buried Treasure
An affectionate father came up with an imaginative way to get his sons to work on the farm.
Based on a fable by
Aesop of Samos

A FARMER who lay upon his deathbed wanted his sons to be able to take good care of themselves and the family vineyard after he was gone. But they had managed to avoid getting any hands-on experience of farming.

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No. 587
Lives of the Saints
Anglo-Saxon Britain (410-1066)
Cuthbert and the Miracle of the Wind
The young monk taught some hard-hearted pagans a lesson they’d never forget.
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)

THE monks of Tynemouth ventured out into the sea in five little boats, so they could pilot some ships, laden with building materials for the monastery, into the river.

At that moment, a sharp wind whipped up, and drove the helpless monks out into the North Sea, like so many seabirds bobbing up and down on the swell.

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No. 588
Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Lives of the Saints
St Cuthbert and the Otters
An inquisitive monk spied on a guest’s night-time walks.
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)

IT was Cuthbert’s habit to walk alone down to the seashore after dark. Intrigued, one of the monks followed him at a discreet distance, hoping to see what it was that Cuthbert did at dead of night.

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No. 589
Byzantine Chant
Lives of the Saints
How St Benedict Biscop brought Byzantium to Britain
The chapel of Bede’s monastery in Sunderland was full of the colours and sounds of the far-off Mediterranean world.
By Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)

IN addition, Benedict introduced the Roman mode of chanting, singing, and ministering in the church.

With that in mind, he obtained permission from Pope Agatho to take back with him John, the archchanter of the church of St Peter and abbot of the monastery of St Martin, to teach the English.

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No. 590
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.

About our calendars

Today in History
1804 A steam locomotive built by Richard Trevithick makes the first return railway journey
From our Archive
By Ann Radcliffe
(1764-1823)
Monsieur St Aubert falls seriously ill on a walking tour with his daughter Emily, and before the end asks an unexpected favour.
William Hyde Wollaston discovered new elements and helped Faraday to greatness, all from the top of a tea-tray.
By Ethel Smyth
(1858-1944)
Composer Ethel Smyth buys a new-fangled ladies’ bicycle, and scandalises the neighbours.
By William Shakespeare
(1564-1616)
John of Gaunt watches in despair as his country is milked for its wealth and shared out among the king’s favourites.
Based on the play by William Shakespeare
(1564-1616)
Don Pedro’s brother John tries to ensure that the course of true love does not run smooth.

A to Z Index

Top Topics
History (416)
Polywords (185)
Georgian Era (113)
Fiction (85)
Quickwords (46)
Doublets (34)
Railways (24)
Triplets (23)
Stuart Era (18)
India (14)
Tudor Era (11)
Adam Smith (10)
Polyword ‘Peat’
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 ‘current of cold air’ (7 letters), and ‘e.g. fascinator’ (3 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with PIG and finish with STY.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.