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Posts tagged History (406)
Nos 171 to 180
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2 two-part story
Francesco Geminiani
Mediaeval History
Roman Empire (Byzantine Era) (330-1453)
Our Lady’s Mantle
Shortly after Askold and Dir founded Kiev in 862, they launched a brazen but ill-fated assault on the capital of the Roman Empire.

IN 988, Vladimir the Great, Prince of Kiev, converted to Christianity after receiving exuberant reports of the beauty of worship in Constantinople. A century earlier, however, Kiev’s pagan founders, Askold and Dir, had thought quite differently, crossing the Black Sea to lay siege to the Imperial capital while its Emperor, Michael III, was away dealing with an Arab assault on the eastern border.

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No. 171
Sergei Rachmaninoff
Mediaeval History
Edward VI (1547-1553) to Mary I (1553-1558)
Merchants of Muscovy
In 1553, Richard Chancellor set out on a perilous voyage to Russia in order to bypass the Hanseatic League’s single market.

ON 10th May 1553, Sir Hugh Willoughby and his pilot Richard Chancellor set out in three ships for the Arctic Ocean beyond Norway. At that time, European merchants from modern-day Holland to Poland ran a single market monopolising trade with Russia, and a competing route promised rich rewards for England’s wool industry.

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No. 172
Igor Stravinsky
Lives of the Saints
Russian Empire (1721-1917)
Not a Scratch!
Hapless extremists try to wipe out a miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary.

IN 1898, Russian anarchists planted a bomb in the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign in Kursk. It was timed to go off during the evening service for maximum casualties, and designed to destroy the miraculous icon of Mary kept there in a glass case. A shared belief in the icon’s miraculous powers drew peasant and Tsar closer together, which did not suit the anarchists at all.

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No. 173
John Marsh
History of British India
Wellington’s Secret
The future hero of Waterloo dealt with political ambush as comfortably as he dealt with the military kind.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)

SHORTLY after the Battle of Assaye, one morning the Prime Minister of the Court of Hyderabad waited upon him [Sir Arthur] for the purpose of privately ascertaining what territory and what advantages had been reserved for his master in the treaty of peace between the Mahratta princes and the Nizam. To obtain this information the minister offered the general a very large sum — considerably above £100,000.

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No. 174
Antonio Salieri
Character and Conduct
A True Gentleman of Verona
A young man from the Italian city on the Adige River demonstrates that class has nothing to do with wealth.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)

ONCE on a time, when the Adige suddenly overflowed its banks, the bridge of Verona was carried away, with the exception of the centre arch, on which stood a house, whose inhabitants supplicated help from the windows, while the foundations were visibly giving way.

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No. 175
John Playford
Character and Conduct
Triumph in Adversity
Two famous figures, one from the sciences and one from the arts, who turned suffering to advantage.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)

MUCH of the best and most useful work done by men and women has been done amidst affliction — sometimes as a relief from it, sometimes from a sense of duty overpowering personal sorrow.

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No. 176
Benjamin Britten
Liberty and Prosperity
Straightforward English
Beware those who encourage ordinary people to be content with clumsy, SMS-style English.
By
N.L. Clay

IF ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ are to be more than catchwords, clear communication must be the rule, and not the exception. In a totalitarian state it may be sufficient for the dictator and his henchmen to be able to use straightforward language. Do we want a society in which placid masses take their orders from bosses?

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No. 177
George Frideric Handel
Liberty and Prosperity
King George VI (1936-1952) to Queen Elizabeth II (1952-)
Violet van der Elst
An eccentric, self-made businesswoman, who ‘made three fortunes and spent five’ in the campaign against the death penalty.

VIOLET Ann Dodge’s first job was as a scullery-maid, but a groundbreaking brushless shaving cream she concocted in her kitchen, Shavex, made her independently wealthy. In 1937, she bought the crumbling Harlaxton Manor, once seriously considered by King Edward VII for his summer retreat.

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No. 178
John Playford
Liberty and Prosperity
The Unselfishess of Free Trade
Victorian MP Richard Cobden pleaded for Britain to set the world an example as a nation open for business.
By Richard Cobden
(1804-1865)

WE have set an example to the world in all ages; we have given them the representative system. The very rules and regulations of this House have been taken as the model for every representative assembly throughout the whole civilised world; and having besides given them the example of a free press and civil and religious freedom, and every institution that belongs to freedom and civilisation, we are now about giving a still greater example; we are going to set the example of making industry free.

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No. 179
Frederic Chopin
Greek History
King George IV (1820-1830)
The Greeks, the Governor and the Potatoes
John Kapodistrias had an instinct for how a long-oppressed people might think.

SIR Walter Raleigh is said to have introduced potatoes to Elizabethan England, and Antoine-Augustin Parmentier is synonymous with their cultivation in 18th century France. In the case of Greece, the credit must go to John Kapodistrias, the country’s first Head of State following the revolution of 1821.

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No. 180
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
Admiral Lord Howe battered a French fleet far out in the Atlantic, and helped prevent the spread of bloody revolution.
Florence used her logical mind and society connections to save thousands of lives in the Crimean War.
A young George Stephenson takes responsibility for the team spirit at Black Callerton mine.
Based on the play by Aristophanes
(c. 445-386 BC)
Two men fed up with Athenian politics decide to build a city in the sky.
Out of a restless alliance between two 6th century kingdoms came a civilisation that defined Englishness.

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Top Topics
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 ‘Rib’
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)?
Change KEEP into MOAT, one letter at a time.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.