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Posts tagged Victorian Era (62)
Nos 31 to 40
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2 two-part story
Alice Mary Smith
Discovery and Invention
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
The London and Birmingham Railway
The textile moguls of Manchester and Liverpool engaged the Stephensons to complete their link to the capital.

THE London and Birmingham Railway opened on September 17th, 1838, connecting Euston to Curzon Street via Rugby and Coventry in five and a half hours. At Curzon Street, passengers could change to the Grand Junction Railway for Manchester and Liverpool, whose cotton-merchants and mill-owners had paid for the link to the capital.

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No. 31
John Field
Modern History
The Obstinacy of Fowell Buxton
Fatherless teenage tearaway Fowell Buxton was not a promising boy, but the Gurney family changed all that.

AT fifteen, Fowell Buxton was illiterate, idle and self-willed. Yet his mother always insisted, ‘You will see it will turn out well in the end’, and after he was befriended by the family of banker John Gurney, Fowell justified her faith.

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No. 32
Charles Villiers Stanford
Modern History
Queen Victoria (1837-1901) to King Edward VII (1901-1910)
The Boer Wars
South African settlers of Dutch descent could not escape the march of the British Empire.

IN 1836, disaffected colonists of Dutch descent from the British-run Cape Colony made their ‘Great Trek’ north, and founded Natal, Transvaal and Orange Free State. British governance followed close behind, however, occupying Natal in 1842, and invading Transvaal in 1877 after it fell into bankruptcy.

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No. 33
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. 34
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. 35
Sophia Giustani Dussek
Liberty and Prosperity
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
How Liberating the Slaves also Clothed the Poor
The closure of slave plantations following the Abolition of Slavery Act in 1833 had a curious side-effect.
Based on an article by Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)

THE African slaves in the West Indies were usually dressed in a shirt and trousers of striped mattress sacking. As soon as they were emancipated, they wished to dress like their late masters, and Jewish entrepreneurs in London heard of it from their colleagues in the Caribbean. So they hastily washed, mended and exported second-hand clothes to the States, allowing ex-slaves to rival their former owner’s wardrobe for an eighth of the price.

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No. 36
Ignaz Moscheles
Discovery and Invention
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
Burning Daylight
George Stephenson argued that his steam engines were solar-powered.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)

ONE Sunday, when the party had just returned from church, they were standing together on the terrace near the Hall, and observed in the distance a railway-train flashing along, tossing behind its long white plume of steam. “Now, Buckland,” said Stephenson, “Can you tell me what is the power that is driving that train?”

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No. 37
Muzio Clementi
Music and Musicians
King George III (1760-1820) to King William IV (1830-1837)
Muzio Clementi
From performance and composition to instrument-making, Clementi left his mark on British and European classical music.

PETER Beckford, on a visit to Rome in 1766, was so impressed with fourteen-year-old Muzio Clementi that he engaged him to play concerts at home in Dorset.

He also paid for his musical education, eight hours a day studying the music of Handel, Scarlatti and Bach. By 1780, Beckford’s protege was performing for Marie Antoinette in Paris.

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No. 38
Alice Mary Smith
Music and Musicians
The Siren ‘Greatness’
In encouraging women into music, Alice Mary Smith thought promises of ‘greatness’ counterproductive.

‘YOU have the privilege’ the chairman of the Royal Musical Association told Frederick Meadows White at a meeting in May 1883, ‘of being married to a very clever woman.’

Frederick, an eminent QC, knew that quite well. Alice, a pupil of William Sterndale Bennett and George Macfarren, had composed her first symphony at twenty-four.

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No. 39
2 two-part story
Malcolm Arnold
Modern History
David Livingstone
The Scottish missionary and medic believed that slavery could better be eradicated by trade than by force.

IT was at a public meeting, on 1st June, 1840, that with the words ‘Christianity, commerce, civilisation’ Sir Thomas Buxton, an anti-slavery campaigner, awoke medical student David Livingstone to his lifelong calling: to destroy the slave trade by persuading Africa to trade in farm and factory goods rather than people.

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No. 40
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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.
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A word search game with a dash of strategy.
From our Archive
By Georges Sand
(1804-1876)
As the storm raged around him, raindrops fell like music on the pianist’s heart.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)
Great inventions come from those who notice what they see.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)
Samuel Smiles shows us two great achievements inspired by two tiny creatures.
By Jane Austen
(1775-1817)
Emma tries to reconcile her father to the unaccountable tastes of his nearest and dearest.
Nicholas used his inheritance to help three vulnerable girls escape a life of exploitation.

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Adam Smith (10)
Polyword ‘Act’
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 ‘amusing play on words’ (3 letters), and ‘leaf of a pine tree’ (6 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with FALL and finish with RISE.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.