For learning. For inspiration. Or just for fun.
Posts tagged History (406)
Nos 281 to 290
← Return to the Home Page
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Lives of the Saints
St David of Wales
The popular monk was elected as bishop of Menevia in Wales in 550.

DEWI Sant, as the Welsh call him, was a Christian monk who founded twelve new monasteries in the largely pagan society of Brittany (in northern France), the West Country, and Wales.

David lived as his monks did, drinking only water, and eating only bread, herbs and vegetables.

Continue reading
No. 281
2 two-part story
Sir Hubert Parry
Classical History
Pericles and the Fickle Public of Athens
The leader of 5th-century BC Athens lavished public money on the city and its adoring citizens.

EVER since the reforms of Solon, Athenian politics had been moving towards greater participation for ordinary people.

Some such as Cimon, veteran of Salamis, thought this had gone far enough; but early in the 460s Ephialtes launched an audacious bid to cut Cimon and the Areopagus, the aristocratic council of Athens, down to size.

Continue reading
No. 282
John Field
Discovery and Invention
King William IV (1830-1837)
How the British Invented Cool
Michael Faraday showed that gases could be compressed and evaporated to preserve food and make ice.

JANE Austen enjoyed eating ices and sipping French wine at her wealthy brother’s Godmersham home, courtesy of his ice-house, a brick-lined dome sunk into the ground, in which ice could remain frozen for years.

Continue reading
No. 283
Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Modern History
The Crimean War
It was the first war to be covered by embedded correspondents, and the public did not like what they read.

ON 31st May, 1853, Tsar Nicholas I of Russia dispatched troops to Moldavia and Wallachia, long a matter of dispute with the Ottoman Empire, ostensibly to bolster Orthodox Christians there.

After the Russians sank Turkish ships at Sinope on the Black Sea, Britain, Austria and France, fearing Russian expansion into the West, declared war on 28th March, 1854.

Continue reading
No. 284
2 two-part story
Greek Traditional Song
Classical History
The Last Days of Socrates
Socrates was placed on death row while Athens celebrated a religious festival.

EACH year in May, a sacred ship would leave Athens for Delos, on a mission to the Temple of Apollo, where commemoration would be made of the abolition of human sacrifice.

Continue reading
No. 285
Gustav Holst
Classical History
The Battle of Marathon
Remembered as the inspiration of the famous Olympic road race, but much more important than that.

TO King Darius I of Persia, Greece was a prize like no other: a prosperous centre of trade, of the arts, of civilisation itself.

Continue reading
No. 286
2 two-part story
John Stanley
Mediaeval History
King Henry VI (1422-1461, 1470-1) to King Edward IV (1461-1483)
Richard of York: One Hand on the Throne
The Wars of the Roses pitted two royal houses against each other for the crown of England.
Based on an account by Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)

KING Henry VI suffered from periodic insanity, and his Queen, Margaret of Anjou, was the power behind his throne.

Neither was popular. Many people were glad that after capturing the King at St Albans on May 22nd, 1455, Richard, Duke of York, left Margaret no choice but to reinstate him as Lord Protector, governing in Henry’s stead.

Continue reading
No. 287
Johann Baptist Cramer
Mediaeval History
The Wars of the Roses
A struggle between rival Royal Houses during the 15th century

KING Edward III had a son named Edmund of Langley, Duke of York, and another named John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster.

Their descendants Richard, Duke of York, and King Henry VI, of the House of Lancaster, were rivals for the throne of England.

Continue reading
No. 288
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Lives of the Saints
St Wilfrid’s Debt
The Blessed Virgin Mary adds four years to the life of Bishop Wilfrid, and an angel suggests a suitable thank-you.
Based on an account by Stephen of Ripon
(early 8th century)

WHEN Wilfrid reached Meaux, he was so weak that his friends spent every moment in heartfelt prayer as his bedside. The bishop was breathing still, but unconscious, and he had taken no food or water for four days.

Continue reading
No. 289
2 two-part story
Ignace Pleyel
French History
Mathieu Martinel and the Drowning Soldier
A young French cavalry soldier took a tremendous risk to rescue a drowning man.
Based on an account by Charlotte Yonge
(1823-1901)

IN 1820, Mathieu Martinel was in Strasbourg when he saw a fellow cavalryman had fallen into the river, right beside the weir of a churning mill-wheel. Martinel leapt straight into the turbid waters, and grabbed onto the drowning man.

Continue reading
No. 290
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 Ethel Smyth
(1858-1944)
Composer Ethel Smyth buys a new-fangled ladies’ bicycle, and scandalises the neighbours.
Her enemies made Jane stronger, but her lover struck a blow from which she might never recover.
The grand-daughter of Queen Victoria was as close to the poor of Moscow’s slums as she was to the Russian Tsar.
By H. G. Wells
(1866-1946)
The brilliant but dangerously obsessive Dr Griffin decides that ‘the end justifies the means’.
Why did a kindly old priest refuse to show his respects to St Nektarios?

A to Z Index

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 ‘Gable’
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 ‘brainy fellow’ (7 letters), and ‘drink’ (3 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with FISH and finish with CAKE.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.