All Posts (676)
Nos 641 to 650
Franz Liszt
Miscellaneous Myths
William Tell
A classic tale from Switzerland of overbearing authority and a father with a very steady hand.

GOVERNOR Gessler had the bright idea of putting his hat on a pole in the prosperous town of Altdorf, and ordering every passer-by to bow respectfully before it.

After William Tell and his son walked by the hat without so much as a nod, Gessler’s men arrested them and brought them before the Governor.

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No. 641
Sir Hubert Parry
Stories in Short
Too Clever By Half
Mrs Tabby White thought she’d try some of the clever things her humans did.
Based on a short story by Edith Nesbit
(1858-1924)

MRS Tabby White’s kittens thought their mother was the cleverest mother in the world.

She washed them and caught mice for them and taught them how to creep up on unwary things.

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No. 642
2 two-part story
Stories in Short
The Kitchen Cat
Part One. Ruth Lorimer’s strangely comfortless life changes when she finds a scruffy little cat on the stairs, but not everyone is pleased.
Based on a short story by Amy Walton
(1845-1925)

HIGH up in a rambling town house in Gower Street was a nursery, and for most of the day Ruth Lorimer played disconsolately in it.

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No. 643
Ignaz Moscheles
Music and Musicians
Ignaz Moscheles
Moscheles taught his adopted country how to write enchanting music for decades to come.
Music by Ignaz Moscheles
(1794-1870)

IGNAZ Moscheles was born in Prague, and studied at the Conservatory there. He was soon in demand, and his first concert in England came in 1822.

The British countryside charmed him, and he admitted that “I feel more and more at home in England”. After his marriage in 1825, Moscheles settled in London, where his reputation grew.

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No. 644
George Frideric Handel
Music and Musicians
The Story of Handel’s ‘Water Music’
Handel’s German boss fired the composer for spending all his time in London. When they met again, it was... rather awkward.

IN 1712 George Frideric Handel, court composer to George, Elector of Hanover in Germany, visited London, with his employer’s warning that he expected him back ‘within a reasonable time’ ringing in his ears.

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No. 645
Modern History
The Boston Tea Party
In the time of King George III, Parliament forgot that its job was not to regulate the people, but to represent them.

THE Tea Act of 1773 grudgingly allowed American companies to import tea, but deliberately weighed them down with burdensome regulation and taxes unless they dealt with the East India Company in London.

The colonists could do nothing about this, because they had no representatives in the English Parliament.

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No. 646
Muzio Clementi
American History
The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere
When Parliament sent the Army against American colonists, people still calling themselves ‘British’ had to decide very quickly what that meant to them.

FOLLOWING Samuel Adams’s ‘Boston Tea Party’ protest in 1773, London quartered some three thousand soldiers from the Regular army all around the port, with orders to destroy the rebels’ stockpile of weapons at Concord, and arrest Adams and John Hancock, then in Lexington.

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No. 647
Character and Conduct
‘Better Habits, Not Greater Rights’
The extraordinary productivity and social mobility of the Victorian era is to the credit not of the governing class, but of the working man.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)

IN all times men have been prone to believe that their happiness and well-being were to be secured by means of institutions rather than by their own conduct. Hence the value of legislation as an agent in human advancement has usually been much over-estimated.

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No. 648
International Relations
Peace By Free Trade
The blessing of trade free from political interference was one of most important insights in British, indeed world history.
By Richard Cobden
(1804-1865)

FREE Trade! What is it?

Why, breaking down the barriers that separate nations; those barriers, behind which nestle the feelings of pride, revenge, hatred, and jealousy, which every now and then burst their bounds, and deluge whole countries with blood. [...]

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No. 649
George Frideric Handel
Tales from the Bible
Cain and Abel
Smarting for his outraged ‘rights’, Cain lost his reason — but not God’s pity and love.

CAIN and his brother Abel, the sons of Adam and Eve, were both farmers. Cain grew crops, whereas Abel was a herdsman.

Abel made an offering to God from among his best animals, but Cain’s offering was rejected because he used crops that were no good for anything else.

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No. 650
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
A Cornish professor of chemistry with a poetic turn who helped make science a popular fashion.
An ancient Greek myth about the dangers of easy wealth.
By Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)
Charles Dickens believed that Britain’s Saxon invaders gained power by force of arms – but not by weapons.
The heroic and charismatic statesman’s last journey was replete with echoes of his extraordinary life.
Based on an account by Charlotte Yonge
(1823-1901)
A Danish soldier in the seventeenth century imposes the severest sentence he can think of.

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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 ‘Dart’
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 ‘complaint’ (4 letters), and ‘be the right size and shape for a space’ (3 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with TALL and finish with SHIP.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.