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Nos 421 to 430
2 two-part story
John Field
Lives of the Saints
St Patrick of Ireland
After escaping from six years as a slave in Ireland, Patrick wanted only one thing: to go back.

AT sixteen, Patrick was abducted from his comfortable home and smuggled across to Ireland, where he was put to work as a shepherd.

He was thus deprived of a Roman education (his father was a Roman citizen and town councillor), but out on the hard hills, Patrick learnt to pray, and to trust in Providence.

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No. 421
Edward Elgar
Extracts from Literature
‘This England’
John of Gaunt watches in despair as his country is milked for its wealth and shared out among the king’s favourites.
By William Shakespeare
(1564-1616)

THIS throne of kings, this sceptr’d isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war.

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No. 422
Charles Villiers Stanford
Discovery and Invention
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
Cragside: the Home of Modern Living
Lord Armstrong’s home was an Aladdin’s cave of Victorian technology.

CRAGSIDE House was developed over several years by Victorian industrialist William Armstrong, starting in 1863.

A keen naturalist, he planted his land with seven million trees and shrubs, chiefly conifers and rhododendrons, and created what remains one of Europe’s largest rock gardens.

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No. 423
2 two-part story
Charles Villiers Stanford
Tales from the Bible
Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve are set in a Garden of carefree delight, but the Snake swears they are victims of a cruel deception.

IN the beginning of Days, God spoke and said, ‘Let us make man in our image’. So he formed Adam out of the dust of the earth, and breathed life into him. He crowned Adam with such godlike virtues that he was only a little lower than the angels, and set him in Eden, a Garden of Delight.

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No. 424
Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Anglo-Saxon History
King Alfred the Great (871-899)
Alfred Learns To Read
Even as a child, King Alfred couldn’t resist a challenge.
By Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)

AT twelve years old, Alfred had not been taught to read; although, of the sons of King Ethelwulf, he, the youngest, was the favourite.

But he had — as most men who grow up to be great and good are generally found to have had — an excellent mother.

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No. 425
2 two-part story
George Frideric Handel
Anglo-Saxon History
Anglo-Saxon Britain (410-1066)
King Edwin and the Hand of Destiny
Forced from his throne and threatened with murder, Edwin makes a curious bargain for his deliverance.
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)

EDWIN should have inherited the crown of Deira from his father Ælle. Instead, Edwin’s brother-in-law Æthelfrith, King of neighbouring Bernicia, emerged as King of a new and powerful joint kingdom called Northumbria, and Edwin was driven out.

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No. 426
2 two-part story
Byzantine Chant
Lives of the Saints
Caedmon Learns to Sing
A shy and unmusical stable-hand suddenly began to sing wise and moving hymns.
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)

THE farmhands on the estates of the monastery at Whitby liked a song in the evening, but whenever the harp looked like coming his way, Caedmon would slip out and go to bed in the stables.

On one such occasion, a man appeared in his dreams and greeted him. ‘Caedmon’ he said, ‘sing to me’.

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No. 427
2 two-part story
Sir Hubert Parry
Tales from the Bible
Elisha and the Fiery Horsemen
The King of Syria goes on a mole-hunt, but Elisha does not seem to mind being his prime suspect.

NOT long after the affair with Naaman, Ben Hahad II, King of Syria, was at war with Israel.

To his annoyance, news of his troop movements kept getting back to Joram, the King of Israel. He suspected a mole among his generals, but they pointed the finger at Elisha, the Israelite prophet.

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No. 428
John Playford
Norman Era
King Stephen (1135-1154)
The Tichborne Dole
The strange-but-true story of a Lady Day tradition.

BACK in the twelfth century, as Lady Mabella Tichborne lay dying she asked her husband to give the peasants on his estates a free gift of flour every year on Lady Day.

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No. 429
Elias Parish Alvars
Roman Myths
Roman Republic (509 BC - 27 BC)
Romulus and the Sabine Women
The legend of how Rome was settled gave rise to the March festival of Roman motherhood.

THE first inhabitants of Romulus’s city were mostly desperate outlaws from outlying states, and no father would give them his daughter in marriage.

So on the advice of his grandfather Numitor, Romulus held a great feast in honour of Neptune, with music and dancing.

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No. 430
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
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.
The opening of the Bombay to Thane line was the real beginning of British India.
The earliest Christians longed to celebrate the resurrection together at Passover, but that was not as easy as it sounds.
By Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
The chapel of Bede’s monastery in Sunderland was full of the colours and sounds of the far-off Mediterranean world.
By John Buchan
(1875-1940)
Richard Hannay tracks a German spy down to a French château, but Hannay’s sense of fair play gives his enemy a chance.

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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 ‘Trail’
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 ‘pull along behind one’ (3 letters), and ‘self-evident or accepted proposition’ (5 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with NAIL and finish with SHOE.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.