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Nos 171 to 180
Francesco Geminiani
Music and Musicians
Francesco Geminiani
The most brilliant violinist of his generation, whose finely-crafted compositions showed off bravura and spoke tenderness.

‘THE intention of musick’, wrote Francesco Geminiani in 1751, ‘is not only to please the ear, but to express sentiments, strike the imagination, affect the mind, and command the passions’. He had spent the last thirty-seven years doing just that, delighting audiences from London to Dublin and the near Continent.

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No. 171
Orlando Gibbons
Liberty and Prosperity
The Firstborn Liberty
John Milton (of ‘Paradise Lost’ fame) urged Parliament not to fall into bad old habits of censorship, whatever their fears may be.
By John Milton
(1632-1704)

IF it be desired to know the immediate cause of all this free writing and free speaking, there cannot be assigned a truer than your own mild and free and humane government. It is the liberty, Lords and Commons, which your own valorous and happy counsels have purchased us, liberty which is the nurse of all great wits.

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No. 172
Johann Baptist Cramer
Liberty and Prosperity
Inquire Within
Philosopher and social activist John Stuart Mill discusses the most liberating kind of education.
By John Stuart Mill
(1806-1873)

MOST boys or youths who have had much knowledge drilled into them, have their mental capacities not strengthened, but overlaid by it.

They are crammed with mere facts, and with the opinions or phrases of other people, and these are accepted as a substitute for the power to form opinions of their own.

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No. 173
2 two-part story
Orlando Gibbons
Stuart Era
King Charles I (1625-1649)
Charles I and his Parliament
Charles took his rights and duties as a King with religious seriousness, but Parliament’s sense of both right and duty was just as strong.

IN 1625, Charles I inherited a kingdom torn apart by competing religious convictions and hatreds.

A century before, Henry VIII, chafing at political interference from Rome, had taken control of the English Church and blended its traditions with fashionably Protestant ideas from Switzerland.

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No. 174
2 two-part story
John Playford
Stuart Era
King Charles I (1625-1649) to King Charles II (1649-1685)
Interregnum
When Parliament overthrew the capricious tyranny of Charles I, it discovered an uncomfortable truth about power.

ON 1642, the English Parliament’s dispute with King Charles I over the extent of his powers came to civil war. Westminster’s army proved the better, and at last, seven years later, Colonel Thomas Pride led a coup, escorting the King’s supporters from the Commons so that the remainder – the ‘Rump’ Parliament — could more conveniently convict him of treason.

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No. 175
Nikolaos Mantzaros
Greek History
King George III (1760-1820) to Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
The United States of the Ionian Islands
The British liberated the Ionian islands from Napoleon, then gave them fifty happy years and the game of cricket.

AFTER the Ottoman Empire conquered Constantinople and much of Greece in 1453, the Ionian Islands were lucky. Most were under Venetian control, and flourished as part of a trading bloc which brought prosperity and respected local culture.

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No. 176
John Marsh
Liberty and Prosperity
A Pledge to the People
Edmund Burke pleaded with Parliament to emerge from behind closed doors and reconnect with the British public.
By Edmund Burke MP
(1729-1797)

LET the commons in parliament assembled, be one and the same thing with the commons at large. Let us identify, let us incorporate ourselves with the people. At present all is troubled and cloudy, and distracted, and full of anger and turbulence, both abroad and at home: but the air may be cleared by this storm, and light and fertility may follow it.

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No. 177
2 two-part story
Malcolm Arnold
Mediaeval History
King Stephen (1135-1154)
The Battle of the Standard
Scottish King David I hoped to exploit the unpopularity of the Normans by trading on his own English heritage.

ON the death of Henry I in 1135, his daughter Matilda was pushed aside by her more popular cousin Stephen, Duke of Normandy. Matilda’s uncle, King David of Scotland, volunteered to support her.

Aware that Northumberland had suffered cruelly under William the Conqueror’s ‘Harrying of the North’, David spun his campaign as a long overdue revolt against the Normans, and marched under the ancient White Dragon of Wessex.

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No. 178
Sir John Blackwood McEwen
The Great War
King George V (1910-1936)
Captain Charles Fryatt
A civilian ferry captain was court-martialled by the Germans for thumbing his nose at their U-Boats.

ON July 27th, 1916, Captain Charles Fryatt, a civilian, was brought before a German military court in Bruges.

Entered into evidence were two gold watches presented to the captain by his employers, the Great Central Railway and the Great Eastern. One commemorated the occasion on March 3rd, 1915, when under Fryatt’s command SS Wrexham escaped the clutches of a U-Boat in a breathless pursuit over forty nautical miles.

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No. 179
Cipriani Potter
Discovery and Invention
King George IV (1820-1830)
The Rainhill Trials
To prove that steam power was the future of railways, George Stephenson held a truly historic competition.

IN 1829 George Stephenson, appointed to build England’s first purpose-built passenger line, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, wanted to prove to doubters that steam locomotives could handle the traffic better than cable-hauled or horse-drawn carriages.

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No. 180
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
As Japan’s ruling shoguns resist the tide of progress, a Nagasaki-based Scottish entrepreneur steps in.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)
An aristocratic statesman was choked with emotion as he reflected on Britain’s creative social mobility.
By Jerome K. Jerome
(1859-1927)
A fox terrier spies what looks like a hapless victim – until he gets up close.
From ‘History of the Wars’ by Procopius of Caesarea
(c.500—c.560)
The Roman Emperor Honorius, so the story goes, had more on his mind than the impending sack of one of Europe’s iconic cities.
Sending a hero off to ‘certain death’ never seems to work out...

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Doublets (34)
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Triplets (23)
Stuart Era (17)
Tudor Era (11)
Adam Smith (10)
Polyword ‘Drink’
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 ‘entertainer’ (7 letters), and ‘distant’ (3 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with SPIT and finish with FIRE.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.