All Posts (649)
Nos 71 to 80
1 6 7 8 9 10 65
George Frideric Handel
Bible and Saints
Birds of Paradise
Northumbrian poet Cynewulf paints a word-picture of heaven and the seraph-band that swoops and soars before the throne.
By Cynewulf
(8th century)

WHEREFORE the kindred of the Seraphim, quick to act, strengthened to authority, steadfast in the truth, rise up amidst the angel host in worship; how excellently the tireless throng sings! far and near reaches their voice, sonorous in its slow beauty.

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No. 71
Sergei Rachmaninoff
The Great War
Germany’s Secret Weapon
As a last, desperate throw of the dice in the Great War, the Germans detonated an unusual kind of weapon in St Petersburg.
By Sir Winston S. Churchill
(1874-1965)

THE Czar had abdicated on March 15, 1917. The statesmen of the Allied nations affected to believe that all was for the best and that the Russian revolution constituted a notable advantage for the common cause.

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No. 72
2 two-part story
William Byrd and John Dowland
Stories in Short
Much Ado About Nothing
Don Pedro’s brother John tries to ensure that the course of true love does not run smooth.
Based on the play by William Shakespeare
(1564-1616)

FLUSHED with success in battle, Don Pedro, Prince of Aragon, repaired to Messina in Sicily for a well-earned rest in the house of the Governor, Leonato. With him went two Italian lords, Claudio and Benedick, and his stepbrother, Don John.

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No. 73
Arvo Pärt
Lives of the Saints
Mountain of Light
St Bede says that Christ’s Transfiguration should remind us that we live in two worlds at the same time.
By Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)

INTENDING to display his glory to his disciples, he led them to a high mountain, to teach everyone who wishes to see this not to wallow among base pleasures, or serve fleshly enticements, or cling to earthly desires, but to rouse himself towards what is above by the love of things that are eternal.

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No. 74
Sir Hamilton Harty
Mediaeval History
Lambert Simnel
Henry VII must decide how to deal with a boy calling himself ‘King Edward VI’.

AFTER he plucked the English crown from that famous hawthorn at Bosworth in 1485, Henry VII could afford to feel secure. He was not particularly liked, but the country was weary of civil war, and his best-qualified rival, Richard III’s nephew Edward, Earl of Warwick, was a mere boy, locked up in the Tower.

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No. 75
Muzio Clementi
Extracts from Literature
Wild Goose Chase
Sir Walter Scott warned that schoolchildren must not expect to be entertained all the time.
By Sir Walter Scott
(1771-1832)

THE history of England is now reduced to a game at cards, and the doctrines of arithmetic may, we are assured, be sufficiently acquired by spending a few hours a week at a new and complicated edition of the Royal Game of the Goose.

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No. 76
George Frideric Handel
Music and Musicians
Beethoven’s First
Everyone wanted to know who Beethoven’s favourite composer was.

A QUESTION many people asked Beethoven was ‘Who is your favourite composer?’

Englishman Edward Schulz recalled hearing Beethoven say over dinner, ‘Handel is the greatest composer that ever lived’, and Johann Stumpff, a London-based instrument-maker who visited Beethoven in 1824, received the same reply. ‘To him I bow the knee,’ Beethoven added, and promptly did.

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No. 77
Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Music and Musicians
‘My English Joy’
In 1837 William Sterndale Bennett, then regarded as England’s most exciting young composer, made history in quite another... field.
By Sir William Sterndale Bennett
(1816-1875)

WELL, I’m off on Monday. Beginning to pay my visits p.p.c.. Count Reuss is gone away to Kreutz. Called yesterday on Madame von Goethe, dined with Benecke, and played at Cricket with some Englishmen, which made the Germans stare very much, as they never saw the game before — we had English bats and balls.

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No. 78
2 two-part story
William Byrd
Music and Musicians
Diplomatic Immunity
Sir James Melville eavesdrops on Queen Elizabeth I’s music practice, and incurs Her Majesty’s displeasure.
By Sir James Melville
(1535–1617)

THE same day after dinner, my Lord of Hunsden drew me up to a quiet gallery that I might hear some music (but he said he durst not avow it), where I might hear the Queen play upon the virginals.

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No. 79
2 two-part story
Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Music and Musicians
Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Acclaimed in Germany as a composer on a par with Mendelssohn himself, Bennett sacrificed his life and talents for music in Britain.

WILLIAM Sterndale Bennett wrote ‘The May Queen’ sitting in the bay window of an Eastbourne pub. When the pub was later demolished, Bennett bought the window and erected it in his summerhouse as a place of inspiration. He always felt more comfortable when surrounded by the familiar.

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No. 80
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
MacPherson’s tireless afforts to promote Russian sport earned him a unique Imperial honour, and the enmity of the Communists.
The King who condemned him to the den of lions felt far worse about it than Daniel did.
A Roman commander facing court martial took refuge in politics, and for ten years London was an imperial capital.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)
Michelangelo had a message for all serious entrepreneurs.
One of England’s most precious artefacts, the Lindisfarne Gospels, was nearly lost at sea.

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Polyword ‘Meow!’
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 ‘raised stitching on a cricket ball’ (4 letters), and ‘a 1901 Kipling novel’ (3 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with FISH and finish with CAKE.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.