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Posts tagged Victorian Era (62)
Nos 51 to 60
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Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Discovery and Invention
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
Bird’s Custard
Alfred Bird’s wife could eat neither eggs nor yeast. So being a Victorian, Alfred put his thinking-cap on.

MRS Alfred Bird’s favourite dessert was baked custard, made by beating together sugar, milk, and eggs. Unfortunately, Mrs Bird could not tolerate eggs.

So in 1837, using cornflour, vanilla and natural colouring from his Chemist’s shop in Bull Street, Birmingham, Alfred concocted an egg-free custard for his wife.

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No. 51
Sir Arthur Sullivan
Discovery and Invention
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
The Rewards of ‘Patience’
How appropriate that the comic opera ‘Patience’ should introduce the world to the results of thirty years of labour.

ON December 28, 1881, the D’Oyly Carte Opera company presented ‘Patience’ at the Savoy, their theatre in the Strand. Words were by W. S. Gilbert, music was by Arthur Sullivan.

Lighting was by Joseph Swan, a chemist from Newcastle who had already patented a form of photographic paper that had revolutionised the camera.

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No. 52
Modern History
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
The Anglo-Zanzibar War
It lasted barely forty minutes, but it brought slavery to an end in the little island territory.

ZANZIBAR is an island territory off the east coast of Africa, now part of Tanzania.

Relations with Britain had been good ever since the island gained independence from the Sultanate of Oman in 1858. However, the British were keen to use their influence to eradicate slavery, and not every Zanzibari was happy with that.

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No. 53
Sir Hubert Parry
Modern History
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
Cecil Rhodes
The ruthless diamond magnate who donated his fortune to the education and empowerment of Africans.

IN 1870, at the age of seventeen, Cecil Rhodes was sent to South Africa for his health.

Twenty years later, he had turned a few small diamond mines into almost complete global dominance as the first Chairman of De Beers, and also founded the Cape’s international fruit industry.

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No. 54
Music and Musicians
Brahms: Three Intermezzi Op. 117
A Scottish widow’s lullaby for her fatherless child inspired his music, but Brahms’s message struck closer to home.

JOHANNES Brahms’s Three Intermezzi, composed in 1892, were inspired by the Border Ballad Lady Anne Bothwell’s Lament, in which a bitter young mother tells her uncomprehending son how his father left them, on the very day his child was born, to die in a pointless war.

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No. 55
George Frideric Handel
Music and Musicians
The Harmonious Blacksmith
Handel called it ‘Air and Variations’, but by Charles Dickens’s day everyone knew it as ‘The Harmonious Blacksmith’.
Music by George Frideric Handel
(1685-1759)

‘THE Harmonious Blacksmith’ is the popular name for the last movement of Handel’s Suite No. 5 in E major (HWV 430) for harpsichord.

Handel did not give this name to his composition himself, though it is not clear exactly how it came about.

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No. 56
Frederic Chopin
Music and Musicians
The ‘Raindrop’ Prelude
As the storm raged around him, raindrops fell like music on the pianist’s heart.
By Georges Sand
(1804-1876)

HE saw himself drowned in a lake; heavy, icy drops of water fell rhythmically upon his breast, and when I made him listen to the sound of the drops of water which really were falling rhythmically on the roof, he denied ever having heard them.

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No. 57
International Relations
Peace By Free Trade
The blessing of trade free from political interference was one of most important insights in British, indeed world history.
By Richard Cobden
(1804-1865)

FREE Trade! What is it?

Why, breaking down the barriers that separate nations; those barriers, behind which nestle the feelings of pride, revenge, hatred, and jealousy, which every now and then burst their bounds, and deluge whole countries with blood. [...]

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No. 58
Muzio Clementi
Discovery and Invention
King George III (1760-1820) to Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
The Character of George Stephenson
A self-made man who never forgot his humble beginnings.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)

HE would frequently invite to his house the humbler companions of his early life, and take pleasure in talking over old times with them.

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No. 59
2 two-part story
Felix Mendelssohn and Charles Villiers Stanford
Discovery and Invention
Sir Titus Salt
His alpaca-wool mills near Bradford proved the social benefits of private enterprise in the right hands.

ON a trip to Liverpool, shortly after taking over his father’s wool business in 1833, Titus Salt stumbled across some bales of alpaca-wool, then little-known in England. His father forbade him to buy them, but he did, and by 1850 his business had outgrown its Bradford premises.

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No. 60
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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.
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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.
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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
By Richard Cobden
(1804-1865)
It is not politicians and their policies that create wealth, but the hard work and ingenuity of ordinary people.
The Nazi-collaborating Vichy government in France paid Rugby League the supreme compliment: they banned it.
Back in the 6th century, a young woman was ruining her own life and the lives of others.
On October 28th, 1940, the Kingdom of Greece surprised everyone by refusing to become part of the German war machine.
By Adam Smith
(1723-1790)
Adam Smith warns that politicians are the last people who should lecture the public about how to run their affairs.

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Polyword ‘Mouse’
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 ‘snare’ (6 letters), and ‘better’ (3 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with COAL and finish with FIRE.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.