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Nos 141 to 150
2 two-part story
Ann Sheppard Mounsey and William Herschel
Discovery and Invention
King George III (1760-1820) to Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
The Ladies’ Diary
A long-lived annual of riddles, rhymes and really hard maths aimed specifically at Georgian Britain’s hidden public of clever women.

THE ‘Ladies’ Diary’, published annually in London from 1704 to 1841, offered an almanack of useful dates, astronomical events, rhyming riddles and readers’ queries, such as

“I should be glad to know, what is the composition of the India rubber; and how and where it is made”.

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No. 141
Jan Ladislav Dussek
Discovery and Invention
King George III (1760-1820) to Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
John Dalton
At fifteen John Dalton was a village schoolmaster in Kendal; at forty he had published the first scientific theory of atoms.

JOHN Dalton, a weaver’s boy, began his teaching career at fifteen, helping his elder brother to run a Quaker school in Kendal. He deepened his education by contributing maths problems to The Ladies’ Diary, and reading scientific works to Kendal’s distinguished natural philosopher John Gough, who was blind, in exchange for lessons in Latin and Greek.

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No. 142
George Frideric Handel
Lives of the Saints
Undoubting Thomas
Abbot Elfric praised St Thomas for demanding hard evidence for the resurrection.
By Elfric of Eynsham
(955-1010)

THOMAS’S unbelief in Christ’s resurrection was not unforeseen, but happened in the foresight of God; for his touch made believers of us. His doubt did us more good than the other Apostles’ belief. For when that touch brought him to belief, it carried our doubt away.

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No. 143
Gustav Holst
Greek and Roman Myths
Heracles and the Mares of Diomedes
Eurystheus pits his cousin against a son of Ares and some man-eating horses.

ARES, the god of war, had a son named Diomedes, lord of the Bistones, a warrior-tribe that lived near Lake Vistonida in Thrace. Down by the sea Diomedes kept a string of savage mares, chained to bronze mangers in which he gave them man’s flesh to eat.

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No. 144
George Frideric Handel
Tales from the Bible
Perilous Waters
King Saul’s jealousies drove those who loved him away, but David was a very different kind of leader.

DAVID’s attempts at reconciliation with Saul, the King of Israel, had failed – if only they could have drawn swords together against the Philistines! – and though he had parted in affectionate comradeship from Jonathan, the king’s son, David would never see him again.

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No. 145
Niels Gade
Character and Conduct
King Charles II (1649-1685)
The Price of Treachery
A Danish soldier in the seventeenth century imposes the severest sentence he can think of.
Based on an account by Charlotte Yonge
(1823-1901)

A DANISH soldier from Flensburg was awaiting medical attention in the company of a bottle of beer when he turned to see a wounded Swede lying near him. So he cradled the man’s head and plied his bottle.

At that moment, there was a sharp crack! and a searing pain in his shoulder. The Swede had shot him. ‘Rascal!’ cried our kindly Dane, ‘for that you must be punished.’

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No. 146
George Frideric Handel
Tales from the Bible
The First Easter
In a translation from the Authorised Version of the Bible, published in 1611, St Mark recounts the discovery of Christ’s empty tomb.

AND when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?

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No. 147
2 two-part story
Charles Villiers Stanford and Sir Arthur Sullivan
Extracts from Literature
Pangur Bán
A 9th century Irish monk scribbled some verses about a beloved cat into his copy book.
By Anonymous (Irish Monk)
(9th century)

I, AND Pangur Bán —
each doing what he does best:
his mind on the hunt,
mine on my own pursuits.

I love, better than fame, relaxing
with my texts, in painstaking study;
Pangur Bán does not envy me that:
he loves his own childish craft.

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No. 148
George Hespe
Sport History
Rugby League
The less glamorous code of Rugby football, but the best for sheer speed and strength.

THE game of Rugby football developed at a Public school in the Warwickshire town of Rugby, early in the Victorian era. Soon it had spread across England, and competitions were organised by the Rugby Football Union, which insisted that players should be strictly amateur.

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No. 149
Eric Ball
Sport History
Rebel Rugby
The Nazi-collaborating Vichy government in France paid Rugby League the supreme compliment: they banned it.

IN 1940, Paris fell to the invading German army. Parts of France which were not actually occupied came under the authority of an extremely unpopular puppet government sympathetic to Nazi Germany, based in Vichy.

The influential men in Vichy were enthusiasts of the English sport of Rugby, because (they said) they admired its noble amateur code.

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No. 150
Polywords (183)
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Latest: Weir
Added on Sunday January 14th, 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.
From our Archive
By Jane Austen
(1775-1817)
A touchy subject, especially when your lover is listening in.
By Adam Smith
(1723-1790)
A nation with its own laws and a strong sense of shared cultural identity makes good economic sense.
One of the twentieth century’s greatest pianists, who put himself and his art at the service of his adopted country.
A Victorian children’s book inspired the birth of modern electronics.
Based on an account by Stephen of Ripon
(early 8th century)
St Wilfrid brings healing to the wife of his own gaoler.

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History (406)
Polywords (183)
Georgian Era (112)
Fiction (84)
Quickwords (46)
Doublets (34)
Triplets (23)
Railways (23)
Stuart Era (17)
Tudor Era (11)
Adam Smith (10)
Polyword ‘Deer’
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 ‘outrage, public disgrace’ (7 letters), and ‘King David of Israel’s third wife’ (7 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with MILE and finish with POST.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.