For learning. For inspiration. For plain speaking.
Posts tagged Russian History (18)
Nos 11 to 18
← Return to the Home Page
1 2
2 two-part story
Henry Purcell
Russian History
King William III (1694-1702)
The Grand Embassy
A young Peter the Great of Russia toured Europe seeking help for his diplomatic, military and architectural plans.

IN January 1698, John Evelyn lent his house at Sayes Court to the Government for the impending ‘Grand Embassy’ of Tsar Peter of Russia, then a young man of twenty-six. Peter’s plan was to forge a European alliance against Turkey, and acquire vital ship-building technology for Russia’s navy.

Continue reading
No. 11
Nikolai Medtner
Lives of the Saints
Kievan Rus’ and Russia (862-1721)
St Nicholas the Wet
Two frantic parents implore St Nicholas’s help in rescuing their baby boy.

IN the year 1091, a man took his wife and their baby son from Kiev to Vyshgorod a few miles up the River Dnieper for the feast of St Boris and St Gleb on July 24th.

On the return journey, the little boy’s mother dozed off in the boat, and her child fell into the river. After a long but fruitless search, the desolate parents went home praying fervently to St Nicholas.

Continue reading
No. 12
John Playford
Mediaeval History
Gytha and Vladimir
Scandinavian tradition says that the daughter of King Harold was consort to one the great rulers of Kievan Rus’.

IN 862, just before the Great Heathen Army landed in England, the Scandinavian people known as the Rus’ settled in Novgorod and in Kiev. Yaroslav the Wise later united the two realms at Kiev, and his grandson Vladimir II Monomakh inherited the Kievan throne in 1113.

Continue reading
No. 13
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.

Continue reading
No. 14
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.

Continue reading
No. 15
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.

Continue reading
No. 16
3 three-part story
Piotr Ilich Tchaikovsky and Edward Elgar
Mediaeval History
Britain and the Tsars
Britain’s ties to the rulers of Russia go back to the time of the Norman Invasion.

IN 862, just four years before Ivar the Boneless came west to capture York, another Viking named Rurik went east and settled at Novgorod on the Volkhov River, together with his people, the Rus’. Askold, one of his captains, settled in Kiev, five hundred miles to the south, and twenty years later, Oleg of Novgorod made Kiev his capital.

Continue reading
No. 17
2 two-part story
John Field
Lives of the Saints
Russian Empire (1721-1917) to Soviet Union (1917-1990)
St Elizabeth the New Martyr
The grand-daughter of Queen Victoria was as close to the poor of Moscow’s slums as she was to the Russian Tsar.

AFTER Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich was assassinated by Marxist revolutionary Ivan Kalyayev on 18th February 1905, his widow Elizabeth, a grand-daughter of Queen Victoria and the Tsar’s sister-in-law, went to see Kalyayev in jail.

Continue reading
No. 18
1 2
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 Plutarch
(AD 46-120)
The ancient Greek King knew victory had cost his army more than it could afford to lose.
By Elfric of Eynsham
(955-1010)
For Jesus Christ to step down alive from his cross would have been a mighty miracle, but not the mightiest.
Joseph Skipsey taught himself to read and write by candlelight, hundreds of feet below ground in a Northumberland pit.
By Percy Bysshe Shelley
(1792-1822)
Poet Percy Shelley calls on November’s sister months to watch by the graveside of the dead Year.
The King who condemned him to the den of lions felt far worse about it than Daniel did.

A to Z Index

Top Topics
History (407)
Polywords (183)
Georgian Era (112)
Fiction (84)
Quickwords (46)
Doublets (34)
Triplets (23)
Railways (23)
Stuart Era (17)
Tudor Era (11)
Adam Smith (10)
Polyword ‘Dene’
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 ‘plaything’ (3 letters), and ‘a river in South Wales’ (3 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with LONG and finish with JUMP.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.