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Nos 531 to 540
Thomas Arne
Music and Musicians
Lessons in British values for a Future King
‘Rule Britannia’ was a discreet way of telling a German prince what was expected of a British King.
Music by Thomas Arne
(1710-1778)

THOMAS Arne’s Masque ‘Alfred’ was first performed for Frederick, Prince of Wales, in 1740.

It was a drama about King Alfred, who in the 9th century defeated the invading Danes, united the petty kingdoms of England, and established the first English navy. But this was no abstract history lesson.

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No. 531
Sir Arthur Sullivan
Discovery and Invention
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
The Rewards of ‘Patience’
How appropriate that the comic opera ‘Patience’ should introduce the world to the results of thirty years of labour.

ON December 28, 1881, the D’Oyly Carte Opera company presented ‘Patience’ at the Savoy, their theatre in the Strand. Words were by W. S. Gilbert, music was by Arthur Sullivan.

Lighting was by Joseph Swan, a chemist from Newcastle who had already patented a form of photographic paper that had revolutionised the camera.

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No. 532
Greek and Roman Myths
Perseus and the Gorgon
When Polydectes, King of Seriphos, sent Perseus to get the Gorgon’s head, he hoped the boy would never come back.

POLYDECTES, King of Seriphos, coveted Danaë, but he was afraid of her young son Perseus.

So the King demanded that the boy leave the island, and not return without the head of the Gorgon Medusa, so hideous that to look on her would turn a man to stone.

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No. 533
Greek and Roman Myths
Phrixus and the Golden Fleece
Long before Jason came to claim it, the golden fleece had already saved a boy’s life.

INO, second wife of the Bœotian King Athamas, hated her stepchildren, Phrixus and Helle, with an ungovernable passion.

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No. 534
2 two-part story
Richard Jones
Greek and Roman Myths
Jason and the Golden Fleece
A political rival sends Jason on a hopeless errand, to fetch the golden fleece.

WHEN Jason arrived in the Kingdom of Iolcus wearing one sandal, his uncle King Pelias was anxious. He had stolen the crown from Jason’s father, and had been told that a youth wearing one shoe would one day kill him.

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No. 535
2 two-part story
George Frideric Handel
Modern History
King George I (1714-1727) to King George II (1727-1760)
Clive of India
Robert Clive helped to establish a lasting bond between India and Britain, laying the foundations of modern India.

IN 1744, eighteen-year-old Robert Clive went out to India as a lowly clerk, bearing a reputation for indiscipline.

But after enlisting in the militia of the British East India Company, which was vying with the French government for the control of trade with India, Clive proved to be a resourceful and daring leader.

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No. 536
George Frideric Handel
Stuart Era
King James I (1603-1625)
Gunpowder, Treason and Plot
Only an anonymous tip-off prevented England losing her sovereignty as well as her King.

UNDER Elizabeth I and then James I, Roman Catholics in England were fined, imprisoned, or even executed for refusing to acknowledge the English monarch as Head of the Church.

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No. 537
Modern History
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
The Anglo-Zanzibar War
It lasted barely forty minutes, but it brought slavery to an end in the little island territory.

ZANZIBAR is an island territory off the east coast of Africa, now part of Tanzania.

Relations with Britain had been good ever since the island gained independence from the Sultanate of Oman in 1858. However, the British were keen to use their influence to eradicate slavery, and not every Zanzibari was happy with that.

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No. 538
Sir Hubert Parry
Modern History
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
Cecil Rhodes
The ruthless diamond magnate who donated his fortune to the education and empowerment of Africans.

IN 1870, at the age of seventeen, Cecil Rhodes was sent to South Africa for his health.

Twenty years later, he had turned a few small diamond mines into almost complete global dominance as the first Chairman of De Beers, and also founded the Cape’s international fruit industry.

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No. 539
Frederic Hymen Cowen
Modern History
The Siege of Khartoum
General Gordon’s death was a sensation and a scandal in its day.

IN 1884, the Sudan was faced with rule by Egypt, then in British hands, or rule by Muhammad Ahmad, the self-proclaimed ‘Mahdi’ of Islam.

Back home in London, Prime Minister William Gladstone sympathised with Muhammad Ahmad, whom he saw as a freedom-fighter.

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No. 540
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
By John Buchan
(1875-1940)
John Buchan didn’t think much of our ‘new manners’ in foreign policy during the 1920s.
By Jane Austen
(1775-1817)
A touchy subject, especially when your lover is listening in.
By Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)
Charles Dickens rails at the way Parliament and do-gooders treat the public like an irresponsible child.
The King who condemned him to the den of lions felt far worse about it than Daniel did.
By
N.L. Clay
Beware those who encourage ordinary people to be content with clumsy, SMS-style English.

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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 ‘Once’
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 ‘ocean’ (7), and ‘a famously incorruptible Roman senator’ (4)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with PIG and finish with STY.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.