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Posts tagged Fiction (84)
Nos 31 to 40
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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. 31
2 two-part story
Nikolai Medtner
Stories in Short
The Peasant, the Penny and Marko the Rich
Marko adopts drastic measures to get out of repaying the loan of a penny.

ONCE upon a time, a peasant gave a penny to a beggar in the street. Marko the Rich decided he would do the same, but borrowed his penny from the peasant on the plea that he had no small change. ‘Come to my house tomorrow,’ he said, ‘and I will repay you’.

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No. 32
2 two-part story
Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Stories in Short
No Thoroughfare
At twenty-five and owner of his own business, Walter Wilding thought his world was secure, but it was about to be rocked to its foundations.
Based on the novel by Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)
and Wilkie Collins
(1824-1889)

WHEN a tearful mother left her baby son at London’s Foundling Hospital, she went away knowing only that they had named him ‘Walter Wilding’. He was eleven when she returned and claimed him by that name, lavishing a mother’s love on him until she died thirteen years later.

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No. 33
2 two-part story
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Extracts from Literature
The Duel
Sir Mulberry Hawk’s coarse conduct towards Kate Nickleby has awoken a spark of decency in Lord Frederick Verisopht.
By Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)

THEY turned to the right, and taking a track across a little meadow, passed Ham House and came into some fields beyond. In one of these, they stopped.

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No. 34
2 two-part story
Louise Farrenc
Extracts from Literature
One Last Question
English lawyer Sydney Carton goes to the guillotine in place of a French aristocrat.
By Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)

“WILL you let me ask you one last question? I am very ignorant, and it troubles me — just a little.”

“Tell me what it is.”

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No. 35
Franz Joseph Haydn
Extracts from Literature
The White Queen’s Riddle
Alice was set a poetical test of wits by the kindly (but like all the other characters, utterly maddening) White Queen.
By Lewis Carroll
(1832-1898)

“FIRST, the fish must be caught.”
That is easy: a baby, I think, could have caught it.
“Next, the fish must be bought.”
That is easy: a penny, I think, would have bought it.

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No. 36
Ignaz Moscheles
Extracts from Literature
A Perfect Combination of Imperfections
Jane Eyre meets a not very handsome stranger, and likes him all the better for it.
By Charlotte Brontë
(1816-1855)

HAD he been a handsome, heroic-looking young gentleman, I should not have dared to stand thus questioning him against his will, and offering my services unasked. I had hardly ever seen a handsome youth; never in my life spoken to one.

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No. 37
Muzio Clementi
Extracts from Literature
Swept off her Feet
Marianne Dashwood sprains an ankle, but help is at hand.
By Jane Austen
(1775-1817)

A GENTLEMAN carrying a gun, with two pointers playing round him, was passing up the hill and within a few yards of Marianne, when her accident happened. He put down his gun and ran to her assistance. She had raised herself from the ground, but her foot had been twisted in her fall, and she was scarcely able to stand. The gentleman offered his services; and passing through the garden, the gate of which had been left open by Margaret, he bore her directly into the house.

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No. 38
2 two-part story
Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Extracts from Literature
The Sign from Heaven
Was it an over-excited imagination, or an answer to prayer?
By Charlotte Brontë
(1816-1855)

“WERE I but convinced that it is God’s will I should marry you, I could vow to marry you here and now — come afterwards what would!”

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No. 39
2 two-part story
George Frideric Handel
Extracts from Literature
King George V (1910-1936)
The Summons Comes for Mr Standfast
In John Buchan’s story about the Great War, Richard Hannay must watch as his friend sacrifices his life for the Allies.
By John Buchan
(1875-1940)

THEY took Peter from the wreckage with scarcely a scar except his twisted leg. Death had smoothed out some of the age in him, and left his face much as I remembered it long ago in the Mashonaland hills.

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No. 40
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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
Back in the 6th century, a young woman was ruining her own life and the lives of others.
His alpaca-wool mills near Bradford proved the social benefits of private enterprise in the right hands.
By Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
England’s first and greatest historian explains why history is so important.
By Plutarch
(?46-120)
The surprisingly sensitive Roman commander was hoping to impress a girl with his angling skills.
A tale of two friends with complete confidence in each other, and loyal to the death.

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Polyword ‘Prince’
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 ‘beg’ (7 letters), and ‘a single game in the sport of darts’ (3 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with DOOR and finish with STEP.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.