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Posts tagged Modern History (139)
Nos 61 to 70
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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. 61
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. 62
John Field
Greek History
King William IV (1830-1837)
Richard Church
The headstrong Irish boy became part of the Greek resistance movement that won independence in 1832.

AT sixteen, Richard Church ran away from home in Cork and enlisted in the British Army. Later, he made a name for himself in the liberation of the Ionian Islands from Napoleon in 1809, and stayed on, as commanding officer of two new Greek regiments in British pay.

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No. 63
Percy Grainger
Modern History
King George III (1760-1820) to Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
The Founding of Australia
Within little more than half a century a British penal colony turned into a prosperous, free-trade democracy.

BY 1776, a thousand convicts each year were being spared the gallows and transported to the American colonies, a practice begun in 1614, but abruptly ended by the American Declaration of Independence.

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No. 64
Ron Goodwin
The Second World War
King George VI (1936-1952)
The Battle of Britain
Britain’s desperate defence against a much larger, better-prepared military machine was a costly victory.

BY the summer of 1940, Nazi Germany had acquired control over most of Western Europe and Scandinavia, and Adolf Hitler confidently attacked RAF bases in southern England in August that year.

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No. 65
Gustav Holst
The Second World War
King George VI (1936-1952)
Wilfrid Israel
Wilfrid Israel used his Berlin department store as cover for smuggling thousands of Jewish children to safety in Britain.

EVEN before the Nazis came to power in 1933, Wilfrid Israel was helping Jews escape to Britain, America and the British Mandate for Palestine.

As manager of a flagship Berlin department store, Wilfrid had a peculiar kind of influence.

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No. 66
Jean-Baptiste Lully
Modern History
King George II (1727-1760)
Pirates at Penzance
The people of Penzance in Cornwall did not think an Algerian corsair much better than a French warship.

IN the small hours of 30th September, 1760, Penzance was woken by the firing of guns, and news spread that a large and unusual ship had run aground near Newlyn. A crowd gathered in the grey dawn, fearing to see a French fleet massing in the Channel.

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No. 67
Edward Elgar
Modern History
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
For Valour
The Victoria Cross is the highest award made to our Armed Forces.

ON January the 29th, 1856, the Victoria Cross (commonly called the VC) was formally established by Queen Victoria. The VC is the highest honour available to the armed forces.

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No. 68
Franz Joseph Haydn
Napoleonic Wars
King George III (1760-1820)
‘Really, I do not see the signal!’
Sometimes it is right to ‘turn a blind eye’.

IN King George III’s day, Britain’s maritime trading Empire, stretching from North America to India, provoked envy across Europe.

Napoleon Bonaparte carefully fanned the flames of resentment until, on 2nd April 1801, a fleet of ships gathered at Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark-Norway, eager to force Britain to share her supposedly ill-gotten wealth.

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No. 69
George Frideric Handel
Modern History
King George II (1727-1760)
The Battle of Plassey
A year after the infamous ‘Black hole of Calcutta’, Robert Clive was sent to exact retribution.

DEFEAT at the hands of the Kingdom of Travancore in 1741 was a body blow to the Dutch in India. And to the disappointment of the French, Robert Clive’s victory at Arcot in 1751 ensured that Britain’s friend, Mohammed Ali Khan Wallajah, became Nawab of the Carnatic in the south.

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No. 70
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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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Added on Sunday January 14th, 2018
Doublets (34)
Turn one word into another, changing just one letter each time.
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A mini-crossword of everyday vocabulary and general knowledge.
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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!
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.
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Take command of English grammar and composition with these traditional exercises.
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A word search game with a dash of strategy.
From our Archive
The less glamorous code of Rugby football, but the best for sheer speed and strength.
Based on ‘Elene’ by Cynewulf
(8th century)
The mother of the Roman Emperor goes to Jerusalem on a quest close to her heart.
A proudly British group of islands far off in the South Atlantic.
By John Buchan
(1875-1940)
Richard Hannay reflects on the innocent lives lost, when the lust for power or the desire for revenge makes us less than human.
Based on a fable by
Aesop of Samos
An over-excited jackdaw goes out of his league, and pays the price.

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Polyword ‘Heron’
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 ‘knock over and scatter’ (7 letters), and ‘a measure of length equal to 45 inches’ (3 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with SWORD and finish with PEACE.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.