All Posts (649)
Nos 51 to 60
1 4 5 6 7 8 65
2 two-part story
William Byrd and John Playford
Stuart Era
The Winter Queen
Conspiracies and dynastic expectations swirled around James I’s daughter from the age of nine.

IN 1605, Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators tried to assassinate King James I, and put his nine-year-old daughter Elizabeth Stuart on his throne as a puppet. As they were Roman Catholics hoping to rejoin Britain to Papal politics, marriage to one of the Catholic dynasties of Europe would surely have followed.

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No. 51
2 two-part story
Georgy Vasilyevich Sviridov and Matthew Locke
Lives of the Saints
‘Filioque’
It started as an honest mistake, became a diplomatic standoff, and brought down an Empire.

IN 587, a provincial Synod in Toledo recited the Creed approved by the Council of Chalcedon in 451, and declared that the Holy Spirit proceeds ‘from the Father and the Son’. Apparently, the bishops quite genuinely thought this was the Creed as used in the East, for they repeated Chalcedon’s declaration that the Creed must never be altered.

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No. 52
2 two-part story
Louis Spohr
Extracts from Literature
The Start of a Beautiful Friendship
Dr Watson is looking for rooms in London, and an old colleague suggests someone who might be able to help him.
By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
(1859-1930)

SHERLOCK Holmes seemed delighted at the idea of sharing his rooms with me. “I have my eye on a suite in Baker Street,” he said, “which would suit us down to the ground. You don’t mind the smell of strong tobacco, I hope?”

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No. 53
George Frideric Handel
Lives of the Saints
The Synod of Hatfield
Pope Agatho reached out to the English church to help him make his case at an important Council in the Imperial capital.

IN 680, Pope Agatho asked Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury, to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Rome, and declare that beside his divine will, Christ has a will like any other man’s. To heal a two-hundred-year-old breach with churches in Egypt and Syria, the Imperial authorities in Constantinople were teaching that he does not, and brooking no dissent.

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No. 54
Charles Villiers Stanford
Liberty and Prosperity
Judicial Iniquity
John Stuart Mill reminds us that governments and the courts must never be allowed to criminalise matters of belief or opinion.
By John Stuart Mill
(1806-1873)

BORN in an age and country abounding in individual greatness, this man [Socrates] has been handed down to us by those who best knew both him and the age, as the most virtuous man in it; while we know him as the head and prototype of all subsequent teachers of virtue, the source equally of the lofty inspiration of Plato and the judicious utilitarianism of Aristotle, the two headsprings of ethical as of all other philosophy.

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No. 55
2 two-part story
Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Extracts from Literature
The Bashful Young Gentleman
Charles Dickens sketches for us the shyly ingratiating youth who gets himself in a tangle in the presence of Beauty.
By Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)

IF the bashful young gentleman, in turning a street corner, chance to stumble suddenly upon two or three young ladies of his acquaintance, nothing can exceed his confusion and agitation. His first impulse is to make a great variety of bows, and dart past them.

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No. 56
2 two-part story
Richard Addinsell and Sir William Walton
The Second World War
The Outbreak of the Second World War
The only truly global conflict in history began when German troops crossed into Poland in September 1939.

ON September 3rd, 1939, Britain and France declared war on Germany, two days after Berlin had defied an ultimatum and sent troops into Poland. The Soviet Union, in accord with the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, quietly supported Germany.

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No. 57
Johann Baptist Cramer
International Relations
Not the World’s Policeman
Richard Cobden questioned both the wisdom and the motives of politicians who intervene on foreign soil.
By Richard Cobden
(1804-1865)

IF it were the province of Great Britain to administer justice to all the people of the earth — in other words, if God had given us, as a nation, the authority and the power, together with the wisdom and the goodness, sufficient to qualify us to deal forth His vengeance then should we be called upon in this case to rescue the weak from the hands of their spoilers.

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No. 58
William Croft
Discovery and Invention
Abraham Darby I
To the poor of England, the Worcestershire man gave affordable pots and pans, and to all the world he gave the industrial revolution.

ABRAHAM Darby learnt his trade grinding malt in Birmingham, managing the brass mills and coke-fired malting ovens. In 1699, he founded a malt-mill of his own in Bristol, and branched out into brass cookware.

Together with his apprentice John Thomas, Darby developed a method for casting utensils in sand rather than clay, improving on techniques learnt during a visit to Holland in 1704.

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No. 59
2 two-part story
Jean-Baptiste Lully and George Frideric Handel
Stuart Era
The War of the Spanish Succession
After Louis XIV’s grandson Philip inherited the throne of Spain, the ‘Sun King’ began to entertain dreams of Europe-wide dominion.

SHORTLY before his death in 1700, King Charles II of Spain left his wide dominions to his nearest blood-relative, sixteen-year-old Philip of Anjou, a grandson of King Louis XIV of France – bitterly disappointing another family relative, Charles, younger brother of the Holy Roman Emperor.

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No. 60
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
A young Jewish girl is chosen as the Queen of Persia, but quickly finds she has enemies.
A reminder that those with extreme wealth and power have everything but the peace to enjoy it.
At fifteen John Dalton was a village schoolmaster in Kendal; at forty he had published the first scientific theory of atoms.
By John Milton
(1632-1704)
John Milton (of ‘Paradise Lost’ fame) urged Parliament not to fall into bad old habits of censorship, whatever their fears may be.
The magnificent cathedral at Durham owes its existence to a missing cow.

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Top Topics
History (394)
Polywords (182)
Georgian Era (107)
Fiction (84)
Quickwords (46)
Doublets (34)
Triplets (23)
Railways (23)
Stuart Era (16)
Adam Smith (10)
Polyword ‘Nape’
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 ‘withdraw’ (7 letters), and ‘domesticated’ (4 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with FELL and finish with PONY.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.