All Posts (676)
Nos 81 to 90
2 two-part story
Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Extracts from Literature
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
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. 81
2 two-part story
Richard Addinsell and Sir William Walton
The Second World War
King George VI (1936-1952)
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. 82
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. 83
William Croft
Discovery and Invention
King Charles II (1649-1685) to Queen Anne (1702-1714)
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. 84
2 two-part story
Jean-Baptiste Lully and George Frideric Handel
Stuart Era
King William III (1694-1702) to Queen Anne (1702-1714)
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. 85
2 two-part story
George Frideric Handel
Anglo-Saxon History
Anglo-Saxon Britain (410-1066)
The Arts of Fair Rowena
Charles Dickens believed that Britain’s Saxon invaders gained power by force of arms – but not by weapons.
By Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)

THEY sent a letter to Rome entreating help — which they called the Groans of the Britons; and in which they said, ‘The barbarians chase us into the sea, the sea throws us back upon the barbarians, and we have only the hard choice left us of perishing by the sword, or perishing by the waves.’

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No. 86
2 two-part story
Vassilis Tsabropoulos and Byzantine Chant
Lives of the Saints
Roman Empire (Byzantine Era) (330 - 1453)
The Voice of an Angel
A tenth-century Greek monk is joined by a total stranger for Mattins.
Based on a
Byzantine Tradition

AT daybreak one Sunday morning in 982, a monk on Mount Athos could be heard chanting before an icon of Mary. At his side, taking it in turns to sing, was another monk – not his own elder, who had left him alone for a night and gone to nearby Karyes, but a visitor, a total stranger who had knocked on his door in the small hours and introduced himself as Monk Gabriel.

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No. 87
William Herschel
Liberty and Prosperity
The Economic Case for Generous Wages
Adam Smith asks employers to pay the most generous wages their finances will allow.
By Adam Smith
(1723-1790)

THE liberal reward of labour increases the industry of the common people. The wages of labour are the encouragement of industry, which, like every other human quality, improves in proportion to the encouragement it receives.

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No. 88
Eric Coates
Liberty and Prosperity
The Economic Case for Time Off
Adam Smith encourages employers to restrict working hours to reasonable limits, for humanity and for profit.
By Adam Smith
(1723-1790)

WORKMEN, when they are liberally paid by the piece, are very apt to overwork themselves, and to ruin their health and constitution in a few years. A carpenter in London, and in some other places, is not supposed to last in his utmost vigour above eight years.

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No. 89
Sir Arthur Sullivan
Extracts from Literature
Viola Draws a Blank
Viola tries to tell Orsino, Duke of Illyria, that his beloved Olivia is not the only woman deserving of his attention.
By William Shakespeare
(1564-1616)

“MY father had a daughter lov’d a man,
As it might be perhaps, were I a woman,
I should your lordship.”

“And what’s her history?”

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No. 90
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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Based on a fable by
Aesop of Samos
A casual act of mercy brought an unexpected reward.
By George Canning MP
(1770-1827)
George Canning begged Britain not to help Europe’s Great Powers deny small states their right to independence.
A former convict gives his own account of his debt to Thomas Wright, the prisoner’s friend.
Lord Armstrong’s home was an Aladdin’s cave of Victorian technology.
William is Cumbria’s very own blend of Robin Hood and William Tell - with a happy ending, too.

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Polyword ‘Rare’
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 ‘a brilliant solo passage in a concerto’ (7 letters), and ‘e.g. lion, tiger’ (3,3 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with COAL and finish with FIRE.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.