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Nos 501 to 510
Lives of the Saints
Roman Empire (27 BC - AD 1453)
St Nicholas and the Golden Dowry
Nicholas used his inheritance to help three vulnerable girls escape a life of exploitation.

IN Nicholas’s hometown of Patara there lived a man who had once been very wealthy, but had now fallen into desperate poverty.

He had three daughters, but they had already had to move away to find work, and as they were all remarkably beautiful he was increasingly anxious that a brothel was their most likely fate.

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No. 501
Muzio Clementi
Extracts from Literature
Fanny Comes Home
Fanny Price, eight years after being adopted by her wealthy uncle and aunt, has gone back home for the first time, full of anticipation.
By Jane Austen
(1775-1817)

FANNY was almost stunned. The smallness of the house and thinness of the walls brought everything so close to her, that, added to the fatigue of her journey, and all her recent agitation, she hardly knew how to bear it.

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No. 502
Extracts from Literature
Are Women more faithful than Men?
A touchy subject, especially when your lover is listening in.
By Jane Austen
(1775-1817)

“Oh!” cried Anne eagerly, “I hope I do justice to all that is felt by you, and by those who resemble you. God forbid that I should undervalue the warm and faithful feelings of any of my fellow-creatures! I should deserve utter contempt if I dared to suppose that true attachment and constancy were known only by woman.

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No. 503
Sergei Rachmaninoff
Liberty and Prosperity
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
The Repeal of the Corn Laws
The rest of Britain was paying dearly for job security and high wages in Britain’s agriculture industry.

AS overseas trade expanded in her growing empire, Britain’s domestic agriculture industry found itself suffering from competition with cheap imports.

Powerful farming interests lobbied Parliament into passing the Corn Laws in 1815, forbidding imports and guaranteeing high prices, high wages and a captive market for British farmers.

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No. 504
Franz Liszt
Modern History
Queen Charlotte’s Christmas Tree
Cromwell’s killjoys almost silenced the English Christmas, but thanks to a royal family tradition the message is still being proclaimed.

IN 1800, King George III’s German-born wife, Charlotte, set up a decorated Christmas tree at a children’s party.

Her grand-daughter Queen Victoria recalled that a candle-lit tree, hung with sugar ornaments, subsequently became a feature of the royal family’s Christmas.

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No. 505
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Modern History
Jemima Fawr and the Last Invasion of Britain
French revolutionaries in a fleet of four ships attempted to spark a revolution in Britain.

ON 22nd February 1797, French warships landed on British soil. Flushed with recent triumphs, the French revolutionaries had dispatched a ragbag of ex-convicts and poorly trained soldiers in just four ships to liberate the British from George III’s tyranny.

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No. 506
Henry Purcell
Stuart Era
James II (1685-1689) to Queen Mary II and King William III (1689-1694)
The ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1688
King James II was forced off the throne in favour of his daughter Mary, and a new English constitution was born.

LIKE his father Charles I, James II believed that as King he had a divine right to govern the country without Parliament’s blessing.

Sensationally, Charles was executed for that belief in 1649; and though England’s eleven years as a Republic had been a disaster, Parliament was unwilling to turn back the clock so far.

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No. 507
Muzio Clementi
Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson
King George III (1760-1820)
The Character of Horatio Lord Nelson
High praise from someone who knew him better than most.
By The Revd Alexander Scott
(1768-1840)

LET the country mourn their hero; I grieve for the loss of the most fascinating companion I ever conversed with — the greatest and most simple of men — one of the nicest and most innocent — interesting beyond all, on shore, in public and even in private life.

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No. 508
John Field
Lives of the Saints
The Age of Constantine (313-337)
St Nicholas and the Luckless Sailor
After surviving a terrible storm, a crew-member on St Nicholas’s ship met with a tragic accident.

INTENDING to visit the Holy Sepulchre, Nicholas boarded an Egyptian ship headed for Jerusalem. One night during his voyage, he dreamt that the ship was caught in a terrible storm, and that Satan had cut the rigging and broken the wheel.

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No. 509
George Frideric Handel
Lives of the Saints
The Dove and the Flame
Elfric, Abbot of Eynsham in the reign of Æthelred the Unready, reflects on two appearances of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament.
By
Elfric of Eynsham

WHY did the Holy Ghost come in the form of fire over the Apostles, but over Christ in the likeness of a dove?

Because Christ in his humanity was meek and harmless.

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No. 510
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
Lost for seventeen centuries, caught up in a war, and used as a pedestal for a plant pot, this is the world’s oldest surviving song.
A young Jewish woman in ancient Babylon falls victim to a heartless conspiracy.
The Nazi-collaborating Vichy government in France paid Rugby League the supreme compliment: they banned it.
Army unrest spread throughout northeast India, and brought direct rule from London.
General Gordon’s death was a sensation and a scandal in its day.

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History (406)
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Georgian Era (111)
Fiction (84)
Quickwords (46)
Doublets (34)
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Triplets (23)
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Tudor Era (11)
Adam Smith (10)
Polyword ‘Dene’
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 ‘wallow in resentment’ (4 letters), and ‘English composer’ (4 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with FLAG and finish with POLE.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.