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Nos 161 to 170
Gustav Holst
Liberty and Prosperity
The Grievances of the South
Victorian MP Richard Cobden believed British politicians supporting the slave-owning American South had been led a merry dance.
By Richard Cobden
(1804-1865)

THE members from the Southern States, the representatives of the Slave States, were invited by the representatives of the Free States to state candidly and frankly what were the terms they required, in order that they might continue peaceable in the Union; but from beginning to end there is not one syllable said about tariff or taxation.

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No. 161
Charles Villiers Stanford
Lives of the Saints
Soviet Union (1917-1990)
The Blessings of Nicholas Mogilevsky
Passengers sharing Bishop Nicholas’s Moscow-bound flight found his blessings faintly silly, but that was when the engines were running.

NICHOLAS Mogilevsky liked to pronounce blessings. He blessed every member of his congregation after holy communion, over a thousand of them. He blessed every passenger who stepped onto his train. And he blessed every passenger sharing his plane to Moscow in 1947, bound for a church synod.

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No. 162
Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Liberty and Prosperity
Dixie on Thames
Victorian MP Richard Cobden offered a startling analogy for the American Civil War.
By Richard Cobden
(1804-1865)

THEY wanted to consolidate, perpetuate, and extend slavery. But, instead of that, what do they constantly say? ‘Leave us alone; all we want is to be left alone.’

And that is a reason that the Conservative Governments of Europe, and so large a section of the upper middle-class of England, and almost the whole aristocracy, have accepted as a sufficient ground on which to back this insurrection.

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No. 163
Frank Bridge
Extracts from Literature
The Cats of Harrison Weir
A Victorian artist and avid bird-watcher banished cats from his country cottage, but soon wished he hadn’t.

THE world’s first cat show, held at London’s Crystal Palace in 1871, was organised by Harrison Weir, artist, illustrator and bird-watcher.

Harrison had learnt drawing and engraving under George Baxter, the pioneer of commercial colour printing. As songbirds were a favourite subject, later on he bought himself a country cottage so he could observe them from his window. Cats, reluctantly, were forbidden.

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No. 164
2 two-part story
Cipriani Potter and Alice Mary Smith
Liberty and Prosperity
King William IV (1830-1837) to King George V (1910-1936)
The Reform Acts
Nineteenth-century Britain had busy industrial cities and a prosperous middle class, but no MPs to represent them.

IN 1832, the controversial Reform Act was pushed through by Prime Minister Lord Grey. It was a wide-ranging overhaul of the way Britain voted for her MPs, necessitated by persistent abuse, and by the industrial revolution.

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No. 165
Sir Hubert Parry
Anglo-Saxon History
The Battle of Brunanburh
Athelstan confirmed himself as King of the English, and also reawakened a feeling that all Britain should be a united people.

AFTER overcoming the Viking kingdom of Yorvik in 927, Athelstan found himself in control not just of Wessex but of the great kingdoms of the past, including Northumbria, Mercia and East Anglia – in other words, most of modern-day England.

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No. 166
George Frideric Handel
Lives of the Saints
St Chad and the Invisible Choir
Chad, the seventh-century Bishop of Mercia, seemed to be making a lot of music for one man.

BROTHER Owen was busy digging near Chad’s private oratory, when he heard the sound of many voices singing. That puzzled him: the Abbot, he knew, was praying alone, and everyone else away on errands. Moreover, the sound was coming from across fields to the southeast.

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No. 167
2 two-part story
Nikolai Medtner
Modern History
Mysore’s Golden Age
The Princely State of Mysore (today in Karnataka) was hailed as an example of good governance to all the world.

KRISHNARAJA Wodeyar IV inherited the throne of Mysore in 1894, though his mother acted as regent until 1902. The Kingdom had a recent history of good governance, owing much to chief administrator Purniah from 1799 to 1812, and British Commissioner Sir Mark Cubbon from 1843 to 1861. A democratic legislature had been introduced in 1881.

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No. 168
Lives of the Saints
The Night-time Disciple
Nicodemus did not allow intellectual doubts to get in the way of what he knew in his heart.

NICODEMUS was a Pharisee, and also a member of the Sanhedrin, the ruling council of the Temple in Jerusalem. Having heard wonderful stories, he was sure Jesus was sent by God and came looking for him – at night, since controversy was already swirling.

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No. 169
2 two-part story
Matthew Locke and Thomas Arne
Stories in Short
The Tempest
A duke with a passion for the art of enchantment is stranded by his enemies on a deserted island.
Based on the play by William Shakespeare
(1564-1616)

PROSPERO, Duke of Milan, a keen student of spells and enchantments, was so wrapped up in his books of lore that his brother Antonio thought the duchy would be better in other hands. So he conspired with Alonso, King of Naples, to have Prospero and his three-year-old daughter Miranda taken out to sea, and set adrift.

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No. 170
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
Sir William Herschel not only discovered Uranus and infrared radiation, but composed two dozen symphonies as well.
By Baroness Orczy
(1865-1947)
Lady Blakeney agrees to spy for the French Revolutionary government in return for her brother’s life.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)
The colourful Foreign Secretary humbly accepted a lesson in manners from a local tradesman.
Loyal subjects of King James II continued to fight his corner after he, and any real hope of success, had gone.
Jesus’s apostles receive the gift of God’s Holy Spirit, and the startling effects quickly draw a crowd.

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History (406)
Polywords (183)
Georgian Era (111)
Fiction (84)
Quickwords (46)
Doublets (34)
Railways (23)
Triplets (23)
Stuart Era (17)
Tudor Era (11)
Adam Smith (10)
Polyword ‘Path’
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 ‘situation of a golf ball’ (3 letters), and ‘the capital of the State of New York’ (6 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with SWORD and finish with PEACE.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.