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Nos 221 to 230
2 two-part story
Jan Ladislav Dussek and Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Discovery and Invention
King George III (1760-1820) to Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
Mr Faraday
Faraday’s work on electromagnetism made him an architect of modern living, and one of Albert Einstein’s three most revered physicists.

YOUNG Michael Faraday worked in a bookshop, so he had plenty to read. He did not spurn his good fortune, and was especially fascinated by science and electricity.

One customer, the eminent pianist William Dance, spotted Michael’s enthusiasm and sent him tickets to Sir Humphrey Davy’s famous public lectures.

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No. 221
Muzio Clementi
Samuel Smiles
On Equal Terms
An aristocratic statesman was choked with emotion as he reflected on Britain’s creative social mobility.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)

Sir James Graham rose immediately, and declared, amidst the cheers of the House, that he did not before know that Mr. Brotherton’s origin had been so humble, but that it rendered him more proud than he had ever before been of the House of Commons.

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No. 222
2 two-part story
Sir Hubert Parry
Discovery and Invention
Sir Sandford Fleming
What George Stephenson was to the railways of England, Sandford Fleming was to the railways of Canada.

IN 1845, eighteen-year-old Sandford Fleming left home in Kirkcaldy for colonial Canada. He qualified as a surveyor, and kept busy with engineering work on the railways and with graphic design: his threepenny postage stamp was Canada’s very first, and it made the industrious beaver one of Canada’s enduring symbols.

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No. 223
Alice Mary Smith
Samuel Smiles
As Good as his Word
Benjamin Disraeli did not make a promising start to his Parliamentary career - but he did start with a promise.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)

AS an orator too, his first appearance in the House of Commons was a failure. Though composed in a grand and ambitious strain, every sentence was hailed with “loud laughter.” But he concluded with a sentence which embodied a prophecy.

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No. 224
2 two-part story
John Marsh
Stories in Short
The Knight’s Tale
Two noble youths of ancient Thebes fall for the same princess.
Based on the story by Geoffrey Chaucer
(?1343-1400)

ONCE upon a time, some widowed noblewomen begged Theseus, King of Athens, to avenge the death of their husbands by sacking the city of Thebes. Theseus obliged, and captured two wounded Theban youths, Arcite and Palamon, whom he imprisoned in Athens.

One day Emily, the Queen’s sister, passed by their prison. Arcite fell hopelessly in love with her on first sight, and his sighs brought Palamon to the window.

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No. 225
William Boyce
Character and Conduct
Sweet and Sour
The great Dr Johnson argues that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
By Samuel Johnson
(1709-1784)

THAT a precept of courtesy is by no means unworthy of the gravity and dignity of an apostolical mandate, may be gathered from the pernicious effects which all must have observed to have arisen from harsh strictness and sour virtue; such as refuses to mingle in harmless gaiety, or give countenance to innocent amusements, or which transacts the petty business of the day with a gloomy ferociousness that clouds existence.

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No. 226
Nikolai Medtner
Lives of the Saints
Kievan Rus’ and Russia (862-1721)
St Nicholas the Wet
Two frantic parents implore St Nicholas’s help in rescuing their baby boy.

IN the year 1091, a man took his wife and their baby son from Kiev to Vyshgorod a few miles up the River Dnieper for the feast of St Boris and St Gleb on July 24th.

On the return journey, the little boy’s mother dozed off in the boat, and her child fell into the river. After a long but fruitless search, the desolate parents went home praying fervently to St Nicholas.

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No. 227
2 two-part story
Charles Villiers Stanford
Sir Francis Drake
Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603)
The Voyage of ‘Golden Hinde’
Elizabethan adventurer Sir Francis Drake combined sailing round the world with really annoying the King of Spain.

IT was no secret in Elizabeth I’s reign that King Philip of Spain coveted her crown.

He had never understood why it passed from his late wife, Mary, to her half-sister Elizabeth and not to him, and he resented Elizabeth giving refuge to dissidents fleeing bloody persecution in the Spanish Netherlands.

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No. 228
Albert Ketèlbey
Poets and Poetry
Ring out the Old, Ring in the New
For Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Christmas was a time to let the dead past bury its dead.
By Alfred, Lord Tennyson
(1809-1892)

RING out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

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No. 229
William Byrd
Poets and Poetry
Christmas Bells
The sounds of an English country Christmas helped Tennyson in his deep mourning for an old friend.
By Alfred, Lord Tennyson
(1809-1892)

THE time draws near the birth of Christ:
The moon is hid; the night is still;
The Christmas bells from hill to hill
Answer each other in the mist.

Each voice four changes on the wind,
That now dilate, and now decrease,
Peace and goodwill, goodwill and peace,
Peace and goodwill, to all mankind.

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No. 230
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
An eccentric, self-made businesswoman, who ‘made three fortunes and spent five’ in the campaign against the death penalty.
In 1381, fourteen-year-old King Richard II was faced with a popular uprising against excessive taxation and government meddling in the labour market.
The textile moguls of Manchester and Liverpool engaged the Stephensons to complete their link to the capital.
By Jonathan Swift
(1667-1745)
Lemuel Gulliver finds that the people of Balnibarbi just don’t appreciate their hardworking academics.
Josiah Wedgwood, a village potter whose disability meant he could not use a potter’s wheel, brought about a quiet revolution in English society.

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Tudor Era (11)
Adam Smith (10)
Polyword ‘Haul’
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 ‘conscientious’ (7 letters), and ‘unreturned serve’ (3 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with STAR and finish with DUST.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.