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Posts tagged Modern History (139)
Nos 111 to 120
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John Playford
Christian Customs
Wassail and Twelfth-Cake
When England’s Christians absorbed the pagan traditions of ‘wassailing’, they kept the fun and cast out the fear.

IN Anglo-Saxon times, the New Year greeting ‘wæs hāl’ (‘Be well!’) was followed by ‘wassail’, spiced mead or cider, and wassail-songs.

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No. 111
Stuart Era
King Charles I (1625-1649)
The Love of the Lindseys
Young Montague Bertie, Lord Willougby, tended his dying father behind enemy lines.
Based on an account by Charlotte Yonge
(1823-1901)

LORD Lindsey had once served alongside their opponent that day at Edgehill, the Earl of Essex, and recommended using the infantry against him.

But on the advice of his young nephew, Prince Rupert of the Rhine, the King, who had never commanded an army before, ordered a spectacular cavalry dash to sweep the enemy from the field.

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No. 112
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. 113
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. 114
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. 115
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. 116
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. 117
John Playford
Christian Customs
King George I (1714-1727)
The Return of Plum Pudding
The Puritans said it was unfit for God-fearing men, but George I thought it fit for a King.

RICH and luxurious plum pudding was banned as “unfit for God-fearing people” by the republican Puritans in 1647, prompting riots in Kent.

Christmas celebrations returned with Charles II in 1660, and in 1714 King George I requested plum pudding for his first Christmas in England, making it fashionable once again.

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No. 118
Gioachino Rossini
Greek History
The Third Siege of Missolonghi
The cruelty of the Ottoman Turks so shocked Europe that the tide of opinion turned against them.

FROM 15th April, 1825, to 10th April the following year, the city of Missolonghi near Corinth in Greece was subjected to a pitiless siege by the ruling Ottoman Empire.

It was the third siege suffered by the town, and the most devastating.

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No. 119
Traditional Greek Song (arr. piano and voice)
Greek History
Byron and Hercules
Lord Byron could not have hoped for a better omen in his support for the oppressed people of Greece.

IN 1815, the poet Lord Byron married Annabella Milbanke in Seaham Hall, County Durham.

In that same year, and in that same town, a small trading ship was launched, named Hercules after the legendary Greek hero.

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No. 120
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Polywords (183)
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
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Find one common letter that will turn three words into three new ones.
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Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
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Compose sentences showing the difference in meaning, grammar or usage between these words.
Practise your basic arithmetic, from multiplation tables to percentages.
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Take command of English grammar and composition with these traditional exercises.
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From our Archive
By Lewis Carroll
(1832-1898)
Alice was set a poetical test of wits by the kindly (but like all the other characters, utterly maddening) White Queen.
Both Rudyard Kipling and the Royal Navy saw Greek sovereignty as a universal symbol of freedom.
A faithful but unprepossessing pet is turned out of hearth and home.
An enterprising knight rids the Bishop of Durham of a troublesome boar, but the price comes as a shock to his lordship.
James Cook describes his first sight of a beloved Australian icon.

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Polyword ‘Rock’
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 ‘outrage, public disgrace’ (7 letters), and ‘King David of Israel’s third wife’ (7 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with FAST and finish with SLOW.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.